Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka was victorious in her Pancrase debut tonight at Pancrase Progress Tour 3 in Tokyo, Japan. The Jewels star submitted long-time veteran striker “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba early in the second round of Sunaba’s retirement bout following a 13-year combat sports career.
Also on the Pancrase card tonight, 16-year-old grappler Shino VanHoose earned her third mixed martial arts victory with a first-round submission of Kimie “Sakura” Okada. The unbeaten VanHoose returned to the Pancrase ring for the first time since a 51-second win in her October MMA debut.
Ishioka (12-7-0) engaged in a striking battle with Sunaba (17-14-1) for much of the opening round and both fighters scored with jabs and leg kicks. Ishioka moved from side to side to avoid Sunaba’s strikes and continued to score with her jab as Sunaba’s nose began to swell up. Ishioka attempted a pair of takedowns, but she could only keep Sunaba on the mat very briefly. Sunaba stood and the referee called for a break. Sunaba closed out the first round with front kicks and left and right hooks.
The fighters exchanged kicks early in the second round and Ishioka clinched. She tripped Sunaba to the canvas and quickly moved to mount. Sunaba defended against an armbar attempt, but Ishioka secured the hold on her second try. Sunaba tapped out to end her storied career.
Veteran fighters Megumi Yabushita and Satoko Shinashi entered the ring during Sunaba’s retirement ceremony with gifts for the departing fighter. Sunaba was presented with an honorary Queen of Pancrase title belt for her many appearances inside the Pancrase ring during her career.
Winner: Saori Ishioka by Submission (Armbar) at 1:04 of round two. She improves to 12-7-0.
VanHoose (3-0-0) wasted little time in taking the still-winless Okada (0-6-1) down to the mat. She worked to improve her position on the ground and eventually passed to the side and then to mount. From there, the result was a foregone conclusion. VanHoose spun into an armbar and Okada was forced to submit. While she is still early in her mixed martial arts career, VanHoose has quickly become one of the top young prospects in Japan.
Winner: Shino VanHoose by Submission (Armbar) at 2:40 of round one. She improves to 3-0-0.
Go Yamamoto contributed to this report.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)