Valkyrie Featherweight Champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi earned her second victory in Pancrase on Tuesday night in Tokyo, as she submitted veteran Akiko “Betiko” Naito with a first-round armbar at Pancrase Impressive Tour 4. Yamaguchi is unbeaten in her last six fights, dating back to 2008.
Both Yamaguchi and Naito entered the matchup on Tuesday after battling kickboxing and MMA veteran “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba to close Majority Decisions. Yamaguchi edged Sunaba in their fight, while Naito came up just short and has now dropped back-to-back fights inside the promotion.
Naito (6-11-0) used her reach advantage early in the fight and kept Yamaguchi (8-2-1) at bay with jabs and leg kicks. Yamaguchi missed with counterpunches from the outside and Naito continued to score with leg kicks as the round progressed. However, Yamaguchi took advantage of a low kick by catching Naito’s leg and taking her down. From there, she dominated with punches from the top before dropping back for a fight-ending armbar. The win was Yamaguchi’s fourth by way of submission.
Winner: Mei Yamaguchi by Submission (Armbar) at 3:52 of round one. She improves to 8-2-1.
While Yamaguchi still possesses her Valkyrie Featherweight Championship, the promotion’s future is still very much in doubt due to financial issues, and the jiu-jitsu specialist has found new opportunities within Pancrase. She may also return to Shoot Boxing later this year.
(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)