A significant upset and controversial scoring were the two main stories at today’s Greatest Common Multiple “Valkyrie 8” event in Tokyo, Japan. The all-female card featured Valkyrie Featherweight Champion Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi battling Kyoko Takabayashi to a Draw in the main event.
Also on the card, Rin Nakai kept her perfect record intact as she became the first Valkyrie Open-Weight Champion. Nakai captured the title after the cageside doctor deemed her opponent, Mizuho Sato, unfit to continue due to an eye injury after round one. Nakai is now 9-0 with six stoppage wins.
Valkyrie Featherweight (115-Pound) Championship
Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi vs Kyoko Takabayashi
The opening round of this title fight was a close one, with both fighters scoring with punching combinations. Yamaguchi, displaying techniques learned in recent shootboxing bouts, landed the superior kicks, but her attempts to take the fight to the mat failed. Takabayashi showed impressive takedown defence and stayed on her feet.
Yamaguchi struggled in the striking exchanges in the second round, though she did manage to land more kicks. She tried for a takedown and Takabayashi defended before scoring a takedown of her own. Takabayashi punched from the top, but stood and allowed Yamaguchi to follow. Yamaguchi attempted another takedown and Takabayashi had little trouble in fighting it off. Late in the round, Yamaguchi rushed in with punches, but was once again unable to take Takabayashi down.
As the final round began, Yamaguchi appeared to be frustrated and looked to land knockout punches. Takabayashi sidestepped and countered well, which forced Yamaguchi to return to kicks from the outside. Takabayashi drilled her with more counterpunches and took clear control of the punching exchanges. She nearly took Yamaguchi down before the final bell, but Yamaguchi managed to stay on her feet.
With Takabayashi appearing to have won at least two rounds on the strength of her crisp punches and impressive defensive wrestling, two cageside judges saw otherwise. Judge Kenji Osawa scored the fight for Takabayashi, while judges Yoshifumi Oyabu and Tomoki Matsumiya ruled the fight a Draw. Yamaguchi retains her title as a result.
Result: Fight ruled a Majority Draw after three 5:00 rounds. Yamaguchi moves to 6-2-1, while Takabayashi is now 11-4-1.
Valkyrie Open-Weight Championship
Rin Nakai vs Mizuho Sato
Nakai walked Sato down with punches early on and tried for a takedown, but Sato managed to keep her balance and stayed on her feet. Nakai landed knees to the body in a clinch and Sato answered with some of her own. Both fighters tried to take the other down and neither appeared to hold a significant advantage in the clinch. The round came to a close soon after, with Nakai’s early strikes being the most damaging of the opening five minutes.
Following the round, the cageside doctor entered the cage to check on Sato’s eye. Despite vehement protests from Sato, the doctor deemed her unfit to continue and Nakai was awarded the victory via doctor stoppage.
Winner: Rin Nakai by TKO (Doctor Stoppage – Eye Injury) at 5:00 of round one. She improves to 9-0-0 and becomes the first Valkyrie Open-Weight Champion.
Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama vs Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada
This non-title bout began with an exchange of single punches and leg kicks until Sugiyama backed Tamada up to the cage. The fighters battled for position and both tried for takedowns while landing knees to the body. Sugiyama scored a takedown and landed big punches from the top as Tamada looked for a leg submission. Sugiyama continued to tee off with punches until the bell.
Round two was more of the same, with an early striking exchange before Sugiyama backed Tamada up against the cage. Tamada countered with knees to the face, but Sugiyama caught one and picked Tamada up. She took her down and worked from the top in side-control. Sugiyama landed hard punches and moved to mount before the end of the round.
The final round again began with a striking exchange and Sugiyama resumed her clinch work near the cage. The fighters traded knees and Sugiyama landed the better strikes. Tamada managed to stay on her feet throughout the round, but was unable to mount any meaningful offence and the fight came to a close with Sugiyama as the clear winner.
All three judges sided with Sugiyama, who took the victory. Unfortunately for her, this bout was not for Tamada’s Valkyrie Flyweight (100-Pound) Championship, so Tamada remains the champion.
Winner: Naho Sugiyama by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 3-0-0.
Ayame “Iris” Miura vs Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki
Miura landed big punches right away and continued to batter Aoki before scoring a takedown. Miura postured up and landed more solid punches, but Aoki defended and blocked many of them. The fight returned to the feet and the fighters traded strikes in competitive exchanges until the end of the round.
Aoki scored a takedown in the second round, but Miura reversed and punished her with more punches on the ground against the cage. Miura lost the position and Aoki fought back to her feet. She punched her way out of a clinch and returned to the centre of the cage. Single punches and leg kicks landed for both before the bell.
Miura clinched against the cage in the final round and eventually managed to take Aoki down. She moved to half-guard and peppered Aoki with short punches until Aoki scrambled out and stood up. The final minute saw the fighters cautiously circle as neither was willing to commit to any significant strikes.
All three judges saw the fight in favour of Miura, who remains unbeaten.
Winner: Ayame Miura by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 4-0-0.
Emi Fujino vs Anna Saito
Fujino backed Saito into a corner with punches, which prompted Saito to turn away. Fujino used the opportunity to take her back while standing. She secured a rear-naked choke and rendered Saito unconscious within seconds. Saito woke up soon after, not understanding that the fight was over, and attempted to continue fighting.
Winner: Emi Fujino by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:24 of round one. She improves to 9-4-0.
Chisa Yonezawa vs Mika “Hari” Harigai
Harigai managed to land some decent punches in the early stages of the first round, but Yonezawa took her down and landed in side-control. She blasted Harigai with punches near the cage, then took her back. Yonezawa continued to land punches from back control all the way until the bell ended the one-sided round.
Hard punches were exchanged in the second stanza, with both fighters landing cleanly. Yonezawa took Harigai down again and moved to mount. From the top, Yonezawa unleashed a flurry of punches that nearly prompted referee Tomoki Matsumiya to stop the fight. Harigai survived by rolling over and giving up her back, but ate more punches before the bell.
Yonezawa quickly took the fight to the mat in the third and final round and soon moved to mount. From there, she landed punch after punch for close to two minutes before the fight was finally stopped. The victory was Yonezawa’s first as a professional.
Winner: Chisa Yonezawa by TKO (Punches) at 2:24 of round three. She improves to 1-3-0.
Megumi Morioka vs Kimie “Sakura” Okada
After an exchange of strikes and a clinch, Morioka took Okada down near the midway point of the opening round. Okada tried to roll for a kneebar, but ate an unrelenting barrage of punches for her efforts. Referee Yoshinori Umeki hovered close by and seemed close to stopping the fight, but Okada managed to make it to the bell.
Morioka took Okada down again in the second round, but was unable to do much of any damage before finding herself in submission danger. Okada trapped Morioka’s arm and worked diligently for an armbar throughout the round, but was never able to secure it. Morioka remained on top until the round came to a close.
Okada landed leg kicks in the final round, but Morioka pushed forward and clinched. She used a judo throw to take Okada down and battered her face with short punches. Okada strangely countered with heel strikes to Morioka’s calves, which had little effect, and Morioka landed more punches before the final bell.
All three judges awarded the fight to Morioka, who rebounded after her first loss in June.
Winner: Megumi Morioka by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 2-1-0.
While the main event ended in a controversial Draw, the remainder of Valkyrie 8 featured entertaining fights. Rin Nakai captured her first major title in becoming the first Valkyrie Open-Weight Champion, while Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama all but guaranteed herself a shot at the Valkyrie Flyweight Championship by defeating reigning champion Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada in a non-title bout.