Leading all-female promotion Jewels showcased a pair of title fights on its year-end card today at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan. Jewels: “17th Ring” featured a Jewels Lightweight Queen Championship rematch between current champion Ayaka Hamasaki and South Korea’s Seo Hee Ham.
The semi-finals and final of the Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix also took place on tonight’s card. Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama faced Kikuyo Ishikawa, while Misaki Takimoto took on Yukiko Seki. The winners then met in the tournament final. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the card.
Jewels 52kg Lightweight Queen Championship – 3×5 [Special MMA Rules]
Ayaka Hamasaki vs Seo Hee Ham
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Hamasaki doesn’t give Ham more than a moment to let loose with a jab before shooting in and putting her on her back. The champion passes to side control and fights to flatten the South Korean as she tries to sit up. Hamasaki traps one of Ham’s arms in her legs to allow her to punch, but at that moment Ham explodes to her feet. Hamasaki puts her against the ropes, sweeping at her feet to test for takedown opportunities. Hamasaki runs Ham down into the middle of the ring and again puts her on her back.
Ham snakes a leg around one of Hamasaki’s as the champ drops the occasional hammerfist. Ham muscles her way back to her feet and, again, Hamasaki runs her into the corner. Ham goes for a leg, but gives that attempt up to lie back in guard and set up a triangle choke. It seems locked on, but referee Umeki doesn’t see fit to call a catch, so it’s likely not very tight. Ham’s body is under the bottom rope, allowing her to keep the hold for a little longer. Hamasaki, apparently in no danger, drops hammerfists while waiting for the time to expire.
Between rounds, Ham can be seen on all fours with her cornermen applying a bag of ice to her back. Her seconds do not clear out of the ring when they are called to do so. Referee Umeki calls time and for the ringside physician to check on her. Ham can hardly stand up straight, let alone get to a sitting position on her stool. Her corner throws in the towel shortly thereafter.
Winner: Ayaka Hamasaki by TKO (Corner Stoppage – Back Injury) at 5:00 of round one. She improves to 6-0-0 and remains the Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion.
Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix Final – 2×5 [Official MMA Rules]
Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama vs Misaki Takimoto
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Sugiyama eats kicks from Takimoto, but punches her way into range to stuff the karateka against the ring post. It stays there for a few moments before referee Umeki breaks them up. Unfazed, Sugiyama gets right back on track by closing the distance, throwing a few punches and pressing Takimoto up against the corner. She tries next for a hip toss, but Takimoto stays upright and puts Sugiyama against the corner this time.
Sugiyama ducks down and grabs one of Takimoto’s feet, sweeping it out from underneath to help her finish a takedown. Sugiyama takes top position in side control and begins hunting for an armbar. Takimoto scissors Sugiyama’s head in defence. Sugiyama gets her head clear and fights to break Takimoto’s grip with one minute remaining on the clock. Just as soon as Sugiyama breaks the grip, Takimoto’s cornerman, Luiz Andrade I, throws in the towel at the same moment that referee Umeki calls the stop at the 4:09 mark.
Winner: Naho Sugiyama by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 4:09 of round one. She improves to 7-0-0 and becomes the first Jewels Featherweight Queen Champion.
Jewels 52kg Official MMA Rules – 2×5
“V.V” Mei Yamaguchi vs Mika “Future Princess” Nagano
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Yamaguchi starts off with tentative leg kicks, staying just out of range of Nagano’s high kicks. When Nagano misses one, she charges in with punches and ends up in the clinch. Nagano tries for a harai-goshi, but Yamaguchi maintains her balance. Nagano goes instead for a trip takedown and gets Yamaguchi down to her knees. Yamaguchi gets back to her feet, but the third time’s the charm for Nagano as she puts Yamaguchi on her back in side control. Nagano sets up for an armbar and falls back into it, but Yamaguchi has her hands tightly clasped in defence.
Yamaguchi picks up Nagano, but is subtly warned by referee Serizawa not to dump her on her head. Yamaguchi instead frees her arm and dives for a leg. Nanago defends, and as Yamaguchi gets to her feet, she shoots for a takedown. Yamaguchi reaches for a guillotine, but Nagano pops her head out. Nagano stays in close in Yamaguchi’s guard, so Yamaguchi resorts to punching at her opponent’s body. Yamaguchi tries for an armbar herself now, but Nagano defends well and advances to half-guard just before the bell rings.
Yamaguchi grazes with a two-punch combo, and then a follow-up right straight. A trip allows Nagano to take her down in the corner, but Yamaguchi quickly fights back to her feet. With both women clinched up, Nagano works again to force Yamaguchi to her back and puts her down in the centre of the ring. Nagano puts a few fists onto Yamaguchi’s ribs as the former Valkyrie featherweight champion fights to get back to her feet again. She does in fact get up, but doesn’t stay there for long as Nagano trips her to the canvas again and lands on top in half-guard. Nagano fights to pass, but Serizawa breaks them up before long.
Yamaguchi lands a big right hand and pushes Nagano into the corner. She launches a knee to Nagano’s midsection, which Nagano catches. Nagano tries to go for a takedown, but botches it and pulls Yamaguchi into mount. Yamaguchi begins dropping big punches to Nagano’s body, one of which accidentally lands on her chin. Referee Serizawa stops the fight to warn Yamaguchi and reset them from standing. After a failed Nagano takedown, the two women go toe to toe, lobbing punches at each other for the final 20 seconds. Of the two, it’s Yamaguchi landing the more consistent, harder punches.
Judge Tomoki Matsumiya scores the bout for Nagano, while judges Akira Yamazaki and Yoshinori Umeki side with Yamaguchi, who takes a rather contentious decision victory.
Winner: Mei Yamaguchi by Split Decision after two rounds. She improves to 9-3-1.
Jewels 52kg Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino vs Celine Haga
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Fujino keeps Haga at bay with blistering punches before pushing her up against the corner. She lands a few knees to Haga’s legs while Haga fights to make space. Fujino doggedly presses herself into the Team Hellboy Hansen fighter. Haga wraps her leg around Fujino’s and looks for a trip. Fujino breaks away and trades punches with Haga. Fujino lands two rights to Haga’s chest. Haga dives for a takedown and Fujino stuffs the shot, pancaking her. Fujino backs up and brings the fight back to the feet.
Haga lands a crisp jab, but Fujino bowls her over with a double-leg and puts her on her back. Both women are too near the ropes, however, prompting referee Serizawa to break them up. Back on the feet, Fujino continues to land punches. She clinches and puts Haga against the ropes. Haga tries again for a trip takedown, but can’t get it. Fujino lands some knees to Haga’s legs. Serizawa calls for a break. Fujino explodes with rapid-fire punches in the final ten seconds, but most only graze just before the bell.
Fujino pushes forward with more punches before bullying Haga up against the ropes. Fujino overwhelms Haga, putting her on her back. Fujino retreats and stands the fight back up. Haga drives for a takedown and manages to get Fujino down briefly, but Fujino retreats and gets back to her feet. She again puts punches on Haga and presses her against the ropes. Fujino disengages and puts some distance between them, onstensibly to allow her some range to land punches. Haga shoots again for a takedown and Fujino stuffs her.
Haga lands a snapping low kick, but eats a vicious left hook in the process that bloodies her nose. Fujino swarms on her in the corner, prompting referee Serizawa to give Haga a standing eight count. Haga answers the count and shoots for a takedown immediately afterward. Fujino falls back into the takedown and looks to set up an armbar. The attempt is not close, however. Haga lands knees to Fujino’s rear in the meantime. Fujino tries again for the armbar, but Haga explodes out of it and passes to side control.
It’s too little, too late, however, as she barely has ten seconds to drop hammerfists to the body before the bell rings.
Judges Akira Yamazaki, Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki all award the bout to Fujino, who takes the dominant decision.
Winner: Emi Fujino by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 10-5-0.
Jewels 52kg Kickboxing Rules – 3×2
Miku Hayashi vs Kanomu Shisso
An aggressive Hayashi spends the round walking her opponent down, planting hard leg and body kicks on her. Though Kanomu Shisso absorbs no small amount of punishment, she does signal that she’s far from defenceless by lacing a nice stiff right across Hayashi’s face and tripping her to the canvas with a leg kick at the end of the round.
More of the same and more from Hayashi in the second round. Somewhat more aggressive, Hayashi has Kanomu Shisso against the ropes quite a bit in this period, putting hard combinations on her face in addition to the already punishing leg and body kicks. It’s all Kanomu Shisso can do to throw some offence back and retreat.
More punishment from Hayashi in the third round as she continues to rail Kanomu Shisso with kicks to the legs and body as well as stiff punches to the face.
Winner: Miku Hayashi by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-28) after three rounds.
Jewels 49kg Kickboxing Rules – 3×2
Mai vs Miyako “Smile” Mitsuhori
The diminutive Mai is clearly the cleaner striker, but that doesn’t stop Mitsuhori from throwing much more offence in the form of leg and body kicks in an attempt to keep the tiny powder keg from closing in and landing her punches and kicks. Nevertheless, Mai does just that by landing push kicks, a slick head kick or two and a Brazilian kick. Mai only misses with two attempted spinning backfists.
Both women see slightly less offensive output in the second round. Mai is still getting in her handful of punches and teeps to the midsection, but Mitsuhori is also connecting with nice punches of her own.
Mai charges in with a barrage of punches and head kicks, as if she were saving her energy last round for this opening salvo. Referee Yoshinori Umeki warns Mai this round, however, to stop hooking her opponent’s glove in the crook of her arm. Mitsuhori’s kicks get caught instead from here, minimising her ability to chain them into punching combinations. Be that as it may, she does at least land a nice right to Mai’s face just before the bell.
Following the bout, the 21-year-old Mai announced that she would be retiring from competition after the next NJKF event in Osaka in February.
Winner: Mai by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-29) after three rounds.
Jewels 52kg Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Emi Tomimatsu vs Rina Tomita
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Tomimatsu dives under Tomita’s rangy jabs and goes for a double-leg. She puts Tomita against the ropes, but does not take her down. Referee Serizawa calls for action, but before he can break them up, Tomita does him the favour of chucking Tomimatsu off of her. Tomimatsu pushes forward, stuffing her jab in Tomita’s face. Tomimatsu puts Tomita against the ropes again, and this time gets the takedown.
Tomimatsu drops a few punches to Tomita’s stomach before the AACC fighter ties up her hands and snakes her legs up, looking for a triangle choke. Tomimatsu shrugs Tomita’s legs off and drops more punches to the belly. Tomita works wrist control to stop the punches. Serizawa breaks them up. Tomimatsu scores with a big right hook to Tomita’s upraised chin – a bad habit she apparently has when throwing punches – that bowls her over in the final seconds before the bell rings.
Tomita pumps jabs and right straights at Tomimatsu, which the Paraestra Matsudo product handily avoids and dives under for the clinch. Both women trade knees to the legs, but it’s Tomimatsu looking for the takedown while Tomita just hangs on to stay upright. She eventually gets that takedown, landing on top in half-guard. Tomita pulls her into full guard, however, and again goes back to working for a triangle choke.
Tomita briefly transitions to an armbar, but thinks better of it and goes back to the triangle. Tomimatsu takes advantage of the loose attempt, however, and escapes out the back to take side control. Tomita scrambles to put her back into full guard, and again throws up her legs for an armbar attempt. It’s nowhere near close, and so again Tomimatsu is able to escape and attempt a pass. Tomita desperately reaches for a leg instead, but she gets nothing. Tomimatsu settles into Tomita’s guard for the final ten until the bell.
Judge Akira Yamazaki strangely scores the bout for Tomita, while judges Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki side with Tomimatsu, who takes the well-deserved victory.
Winner: Emi Tomimatsu by Split Decision after two rounds. She improves to 4-4-0.
Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix Reserve Bout – 2×5 [Official MMA Rules]
Sachiko “Sachi” Yamamoto vs Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. The southpaw Tamada stalks Yamamoto and lands occasional leg kicks to start the round. Yamamoto doesn’t take this for long, though, and explodes into a double-leg that puts the former Valkyrie flyweight champion on her back. Tamada ties up Yamamoto’s hands, knowing it will only be a matter of time until referee Serizawa breaks them up. Right on schedule, he does.
Yamamoto shoots for a single and puts Tamada down on her posterior. Tamada scoots out and pancakes Yamamoto, but Yamamoto drives forward and takes top position in half-guard. Yamamoto works hard to pass to the side, but her foot stays caught between Tamada’s legs. She explodes and finally gets the foot free, however, and immediately transitions for an armbar. Serizawa calls a catch, but both women are impeded by the ropes. The bell rings shortly thereafter.
Tamada stuffs a Yamamoto takedown and takes top position in half-guard. Like her opponent in the last round, Tamada fights to pass to side control, but Yamamoto stays active from the bottom and repositions to make sure that Tamada’s foot stays caught. Tamada drops token punches to Yamamoto’s midsection to keep the position. Yamamoto gets to full guard and looks to set up another armbar.
Tamada frees her arm and passes to side control. Yamamoto gives up her back, and Tamada threatens with a rear-naked choke. Tamada’s hooks aren’t in, however, allowing Yamamoto to escape momentarily. Tamada reasserts herself and retakes back mount, but the choke is nowhere near being finished. The bell rings soon after.
Judge Akira Yamazaki awards the razor-thin bout to Tamada, while judges Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki side with Yamamoto, who earns the biggest victory of her career.
Winner: Sachiko Yamamoto by Split Decision after two rounds. She improves to 9-6-1 and will advance on to the final of the Jewels Featherweight Grand Prix in the event that a finalist is unable to compete.
Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix Semi-Final – 2×5 [Official MMA Rules]
Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama vs Kikuyo Ishikawa
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Ishikawa stays to the outside, lobbing rangy leg kicks and jabs, but Sugiyama gives chase with punches and connects frequently. Sugiyama presses Ishikawa up against the ropes and fights for a double-leg or high crotch, but she can’t get the takedown. Referee Serizawa breaks them up shortly. Ishikawa lands more leg kicks and stiff right hands from the outside. Sugiyama looks momentarily flustered until she lands a big right hand that makes Ishikawa stumble back into the ropes.
Sugiyama presses into the clinch, looking for a takedown. Serizawa breaks them up again. Ishikawa gets a few potshots on Sugiyama before being pushed against the ropes again, where both women trade knees. Sugiyama tries for an inside trip, but Ishikawa maintains her balance. Serizawa breaks them up. Sugiyama lands some leg kicks of her own now before putting Ishikawa against the ropes. Sugiyama mixes in some dirty boxing, mashing Ishikawa up in the corner for the final 20 seconds of the round.
Both women trade leg kicks, but Sugiyama follows up and connects with a big right straight. Sugiyama puts Ishikawa in the corner and begins fishing for an inside trip takedown. Serizawa isn’t confident that it’ll happen, and so he breaks them up. Sugiyama lands a two-punch combo before backing Ishikawa into a corner. She pulls Ishikawa’s head down and lands two knees. The rest of the knees are either blocked or just out of range of Ishikawa’s face. Serizawa breaks them up again and Ishikawa lands two loaded up right hands.
Sugiyama resorts to putting Ishikawa against the ropes in the clinch again, where both women trade knees to the legs. Serizawa calls the break. Ishikawa lands a right straight and keeps Sugiyama at range. Sugiyama lands a left hook and catches a kick from Ishikawa, but she botches a trip takedown. Hearing the 30-second warning, Ishikawa begins chasing Sugiyama down with punches now, rather than hanging on the outside. Sugiyama eats several and has to put Ishikawa against the ropes to neutralise her until the bell.
Judge Akira Yamazaki awards the close bout to Ishikawa, while judges Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki side with Sugiyama, who advances on to the tournament final.
Winner: Naho Sugiyama by Split Decision after two rounds. She improves to 6-0-0 and advances to the finals of the Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix.
Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix Semi-Final – 2×5 [Official MMA Rules]
Misaki Takimoto vs Yukiko Seki
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Seki bobs and weaves her way into range to throw punches in close. She connects once before Takimoto pulls her into a clinch and spins her into a corner to throw knees to the body. Referee Serizawa breaks them up. Seki, like a whirling dervish, throws big looping punches and kicks at Takimoto until she crashes into her in the clinch, putting her against the ropes. Takimoto spins her around and lands more knees to the stomach. Serizawa breaks them up again.
Seki charges with more punches and kicks. Takimoto blasts her in the face and chest with two push kicks in a row. Seki is only momentarily stunned and charges back at Takimoto with punches once more until she gets her in the corner. Takimoto chucks Seki off and grazes with a head kick. A hunched over Seki continues to flurry, regardless. Takimoto lands more punches and kicks in response, but Seki still puts her against the ropes. Serizawa breaks them up in the final ten seconds and Seki goes for broke with punch after punch until the bell.
Takimoto lands a jab and body kick as Seki charges. Takimoto then lands a thumping right hand that knocks Seki down. Serizawa gives her a standing count and she answers it. Seki gets back to the business of swarming with punches. Serizawa calls a stop a moment later, however, so as to get Seki’s bloody nose cleaned. When the fight resumes, Seki returns to throwing wild punches while Takimoto backpedals and counters. Seki pushes Takimoto up against the ropes and takes her down.
Takimoto throws upkicks in an attempt to push Seki away before getting to her feet. Seki charges again and puts Takimoto into a corner. Serizawa breaks them up and again calls ringside physician Tomoki Nakagawa in to have Seki’s bloody nose checked and cleaned up. Upon resuming, Seki continues to give chase. Takimoto’s counterpunches come fewer and far between now. Seki pushes Takimoto up against the corner again, but just as she’s about to get the takedown, Serizawa breaks them up.
No matter, Seki charges forward again with more punches until she lands back in the clinch. Takimoto works her arm around to get a front headlock and attempts a knee, but Seki immediately breaks free. Takimoto is exhausted, but Seki apparently isn’t. Seki charges her in the final ten seconds, but is pushed over to her back. Takimoto sits down in her guard just as the bell rings.
Judges Akira Yamazaki, Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki all award the bout to Takimoto, who advances on to the tournament final later on tonight’s card.
Winner: Misaki Takimoto by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 15-12-4 and advances to the finals of the Jewels Featherweight Queen Grand Prix.
Jewels 48kg Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Shino VanHoose vs Asami Higa
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. VanHoose grazes with some leg kicks, allowing Higa to jump in and land a jab to the face. VanHoose isn’t bothered and bowls Higa over with a takedown. VanHoose transitions to mount, staying in very close, giving Higa absolutely no space to get free or set up a reversal. VanHoose sets up an armbar and falls back into it. Higa picks her up and props her against a ring post, where she beats on VanHoose with punches.
VanHoose wraps and arm around Higa’s leg, but Higa doesn’t go down. Higa eventually feels the weight of VanHoose and lets her down. VanHoose immediately bounds forward and resets herself in mount. She then transitions to Higa’s back and locks up a rear-naked choke. Referee Serizawa calls the catch, but Higa is hanging tough. There’s still 30 seconds left in the round and VanHoose has Higa flat on the canvas, but still no tap comes. The bell eventually rings, and Higa lives to see the next round.
Higa stays at range, trying to tag VanHoose with jabs. VanHoose responds with leg kicks, but she’s not defending the punches. VanHoose tries to land a knee or two in the clinch, but Higa is unfazed. Higa has VanHoose up against the ropes, clammed up, as she launches a barrage of punches. VanHoose charges forward to bowl Higa over into a corner. Higa gets to her feet and VanHoose lands knees to her midsection. Higa spins out and puts VanHoose in the corner, where she blasts her with more punches.
VanHoose circles out and resets at the centre of the ring. Higa runs her back into a corner, looking to bully her more. VanHoose sucks Higa back into the clinch and throws a knee, which Higa catches. VanHoose launches her free leg into Higa’s midsection three times before referee Serizawa breaks them up. VanHoose goes back for a clinch to land more knees, but Higa is blocking them against the ropes. She keeps this up for the final 30 seconds until the bell.
Judges Akira Yamazaki, Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshinori Umeki all award the competitive bout to the 16-year-old VanHoose.
Winner: Shino VanHoose by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 2-0-0.
Jewels 54kg Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Yuka Okumura vs Anna Saito
Referee for this bout is Tomoki Matsumiya. Saito begins swinging with reckless abandon and catches Okumura with a few punches. Okumura returns fire, but is much more conservative, landing single shots that don’t seem to convince Saito to stop throwing haymakers. Okumura takes her down and transitions to her back. She isn’t there long, however, before referee Matsumiya calls a break. Back on the feet, they clinch and trade knees. Okumura puts Saito back on the mat with an inside trip and transitions again to her back.
Saito stands and manages to escape, whereupon she throws with reckless abandon again. Okumura tags her with a counter jab. Saito goes for a judo throw, but botches it and gives up her back. Saito spins into Okumura and drops hammerfists from half-guard. Okumura falls back for a leg. Saito follows suit with an Achilles lock, but Okumura has a much more damaging heel hook. Saito taps out at the 4:41 mark.
Winner: Yuka Okumura by Submission (Heel Hook) at 4:41 of round one. She improves to 2-8-0.
Jewels 46kg Under-15 Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Final – 2×2
Chihiro Imoto vs “Muay Thai Genius” Saya Ito
The first round has Ito dancing on the outside, looking for a way in to land punches or kicks to the body. As soon as she gets anywhere near Imoto, she eats a myriad of kicks to the legs and body, if not knees to her flanks. Imoto has a mean left hook on her as well, which she uses several times to intercept Ito. Ito lands a few shots, but it’s not nearly as much as Imoto’s angry counter-offence.
Ito is stepping up her workrate here, throwing body kicks in combination on her way in. Imoto is still very content to let Ito come to her before unleashing with flurries and kicks to the body. Imoto chops away at Ito’s legs at one point, breaking her down until she trips to the canvas. Imoto lands some really nice combinations to the face in the final 10 seconds, while Ito tries desperately to land some punches and kicks of her own.
Winner: Chihiro Imoto by Majority Decision (20-19, 20-19, 19-19) after two rounds. She becomes the 2011 Jewels 46kg Under-15 Kickboxing Tournament Champion.
Jewels Amateur MMA Rules – 1×4
Yukari Yamaguchi vs Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Right after the bell rings, Yamaguchi knocks Ichikawa down with a left head kick. Yamazaki gives her a standing count and she answers it. Yamaguchi swarms on Ichikawa and immediately puts her on her back. She transitions to an armbar and effortlessly falls back. Yamazaki calls a stop before there’s even a tap at 1:20.
Winner: Yukari Yamaguchi by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 1:20 of round one.
Jewels 48kg Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
Miiri Sasaki vs Fuka Saito
A very even first round with both girls trading combinations and leg kicks. Sasaki uses an effective push kick to keep Saito at range, but that doesn’t discourage Saito from trying her best to overwhelm her opponent with a stream of punches throughout the round.
The second round sees Saito as the aggressor still, but Sasaki utilises the clinch to whip her around and land knees to the midsection when she gets in too close. Still a fairly even fight, but Sasaki is arguably pulling ahead with her defence and counterattacks.
Winner: Miiri Sasaki by Majority Decision (20-20, 20-19, 20-19) after two rounds.