Japan’s all-female Jewels promotion made its debut at Differ Ariake Arena on Saturday afternoon in Tokyo. Jewels: “20th Ring” was headlined by a 114-pound rematch between final Valkyrie Featherweight Champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi and fellow Jewels title contender Emi Tomimatsu.
Also on the card, Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima made her third appearance for Jewels when she faced Ji Yun Kim in the kickboxing co-main event. Shizuka Sugiyama returned to action against Megumi Yabushita in a featured MMA bout. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for Jewels: “20th Ring.”
52kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
“V.V” Mei Yamaguchi vs Emi Tomimatsu
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Yamaguchi comes out aggressively. They clinch and Yamaguchi lands punches before Tomimatsu breaks free. The fighters circle until Tomimatsu shoots in, but she gets stuck in the clinch again. They both work to get the upper hand and throw knees here and there. Yamaguchi whips Tomimatsu to the ground momentarily, but she gets back up and throws a flurry of knees.
The fighters break and retake centre ring. More clinching and knees follow. They break again and Yamaguchi chases Tomimatsu across the ring and lands a flurry of punches. Another clinch follows in the opposite corner and Tomimatsu lands a series of knees as they break. The fighters clinch once more and Yamaguchi rips Tomimatsu to the ground as the close round ends. 10-10.
More clinching against the ropes in round two. Yamaguchi takes Tomimatsu to the ground and tries to take her back but Tomimatsu stands up and they clinch again. Referee Serizawa breaks them apart. They trade strikes momentarily before clinching again. Yamaguchi breaks back for a second and lands a hard combo to the head, forcing Tomimatsu to shoot. Yamaguchi stuffs it and they stand up.
More clinching again and Yamaguchi forces Tomimatsu down, landing in half-guard. She passes and spins for an armbar. Yamaguchi gets decent extension on it, but Tomimatsu pushes through and escapes to land on top. Yamaguchi stands and they clinch again. Serizawa breaks them up and they trade punches until the bell rings. 10-9 Yamaguchi.
Judges Yoshinori Umeki, Ryogaku Wada and Akira Yamazaki all see the fight for Yamaguchi, who takes the victory in the rematch.
Winner: Mei Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 10-4-1.
60kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules – 3×3
Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Ji Yun Kim
Kim throws punching combinations early on, but Nagashima keeps her guard high and counters here and there. Kim controls the pressure. Nagashima attempts a flying knee, then lands quick one-two combinations and covers up. Kim slips in a few hard hooks. She throws slow punches and Nagashima repeatedly rocks her with hard counters that wobble her. Referee Yoshinori Umeki gives Kim a standing 8 count. She continues and Nagashima comes out swinging. A hard combination lands, but Kim slips in her own punches. They trade until the round ends. 10-8 Nagashima.
Round two starts and Nagashima lands a head kick, but Kim stays up. Kim continues to pressure, but Nagashima keeps up her guard and lands fast counterpunches. A hard knee from the Thai clinch scores for Nagashima. Kim throws a long flurry of hooks and Nagashima keeps landing her quick left hand. Another hard knee to the stomach from Nagashima. Kim tries to work the body but gets too low and eats knees. Nagashima is too quick for the South Korean and lands one-two combos from behind her peek-a-boo guard. 10-9 Nagashima.
Cracking outside leg kicks early on from Nagashima. Kim tries to pressure in again but Nagashima circles and knees her hard. Kim keeps up the pressure and lands a few hard shots before barely dodging a spinning backfist. They circle in the middle and Nagashima lands a quick one-two followed by a leg kick. Kim pressures again but can’t get much through. She blocks a head kick and lands a few solid punches. Kim takes a hard straight punch while moving in. Flying knee attempt from Nagashima as the round ends. 10-9 Nagashima.
Winner: Kozue Nagashima by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds.
62kg Jewels Special MMA Rules – 2×5
Shizuka Sugiyama vs Megumi Yabushita
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. Sugiyama lands kicks and a hard knee to the belly before Yabushita clinches and hits a huge hip toss to land on top in side control. Sugiyama recovers guard and they stand. Yabushita catches a hard kick from Sugiyama and gets a single-leg but can’t keep the position and Sugiyama gets behind her as she turtles. Hard punches to the head from Sugiyama. Yabushita latches on to Sugiyama’s arm and Sugiyama answers with a volley of hard knees to the body and thighs.
Yabushita rolls and Sugiyama works to take her back. They stand up and Yabushita latches on to a guillotine choke in the scramble. She trips Sugiyama and lands in the scarf hold position. Sugiyama rolls her over and lands in side control. Referee Wada stands them up. Sugiyama pelts Yabushita with kicks and knees before Yabushita hits a tai-otoshi throw and goes for the armbar. Sugiyama rolls to defend and throws hard punches from above before the round ends. 10-10.
More knees from Sugiyama as Yabushita tries to take it to the ground again, but Sugiyama is the one who gets it there and she lands on top as Yabushita turtles. Hard punches land for Sugiyama, but she can’t get her hooks in. Yabushita gets a hold of Sugiyama’s head and tries to reverse position, but Sugiyama maintains and continues to work for the back. She gets one hook in but Yabushita keeps her hips high and Sugiyama can’t get the other leg over.
Referee Wada stands them up and Yabushita throws a huge punch, but it’s blocked. She tries another hip throw and misses, but follows through and lands in Sugiyama’s half-guard. Yabushita leans back for an ankle lock, but Sugiyama escapes and they stand. Another hip throw from Yabushita, but Sugiyama rolls through and lands on top. Yabushita escapes and tries to stand, but Sugiyama latches on to a leg and takes her down. The round ends. 10-10 again.
Judge Yoshinori Umeki scores the fight for Yabushita, while judges Akira Yamazaki and Kenichi Serizawa see it for the winner by Split Decision, Sugiyama.
Winner: Shizuka Sugiyama by Split Decision after two rounds. She improves to 7-3-0.
46kg Jewels Special MMA Rules – 2×5
Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada vs Naoko Omuro
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. The fighters circle early on and Tamada comes in with a quick double-leg and lands in half-guard. She tries to pressure through with a pass, but Omuro keeps her tangled up. Referee Wada calls for action before standing them up. They circle for a bit before clinching, where Tamada takes Omuro down again into half-guard.
Tamada passes nicely into side control but Omuro turtles. Tamada pushes her to her back again in half-guard. Omuro recovers full guard and Wada stands them up. They clinch in the corner and trade knees and short punches before being separated. Tamada shoots for another takedown and gets stuck in the clinch. Omuro lands a nice knee to her face as the bell rings. 10-9 Tamada.
They trade punches and Tamada goes for an ankle pick. She gets to a back clinch and whips Omuro down into side control. Tamada switches for a spin-around armbar and extends it for the technical submission victory.
Winner: Yasuko Tamada by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 1:05 of round two. She improves to 13-8-3.
54kg Shoot Boxing Rules – 3×2
Seira Aragaki vs Hyo Kyung Song
The fight starts and they circle. Song lands a few body kicks but Aragaki counters with a hard straight. Aragaki uses her jab and lands body kicks of her own. They clinch and Aragaki throws knees to the body before referee Ryogaku Wada separates them. Song has trouble getting into range as Aragaki uses long kicks to the body before clinching and throwing knees. A nice counter combination lands for Aragaki. More clinching and knees and the round ends. 10-9 Aragaki.
More clinching in round two and Aragaki takes Song down. Song stands and tries an impressive tornado kick that lands to the body. Aragaki continues to clinch and knee to the body. Song tries a spinning back heel that grazes Aragaki’s stomach. She slips and Aragaki clips her with a few punches. Aragaki uses body kicks to keep Song back and clinches whenever in range. 10-9 Aragaki.
Song looks tired and Aragaki hits her with a hard kick to the ribs. More clinching and knees. Song is definitely tired and is lunging lazily to land punches and paying for it. She offers nothing in Aragaki’s clinch. Aragaki continues to land long-range body kicks and controls the clinch whenever Song comes into range. 10-9 Aragaki.
Winner: Seira Aragaki by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28) after three rounds.
46kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Satomi Takano vs Yukiko Seki
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. The fighters come out swinging. Seki uses a nice head slip and cracks Takano with a straight punch. Takano clinches and Seki keeps hitting her. Takano forces her down from the clinch and lands in half-guard. She passes to side control and then to mount. Takano tries to take the back but Seki locks her up in half-guard.
Takano stands and they clinch again. Takano gets to the back and rips Seki to the ground. She tries to sink in a rear-naked choke but doesn’t have her hooks in. Takano lands in half-guard again and switches for a kneebar. Seki defends and Takano lands on top in reverse mount. She tries for toe hold, but Seki defends until the round ends. 10-9 Takano.
Takano opens with a hard straight right that wobbles Seki. They clinch and Takano hits a nice uchi mata and lands against the ropes. She can’t control against the ropes and they stand and throw wild kicks at each other. The fighters clinch again and Takano tries to take Seki’s back. They fall to the mat and Takano stays in side control. She works for a far-side Kimura but Seki rolls her over and stands. Seki tries to trade but Takano is persistent with the over-under clinch.
Takano gets double underhooks in the corner and goes to the ground, but the ropes are in her way again. She tries to take the back but the ropes block her and Seki rolls into her guard. Referee Serizawa stands them up. Hard punches land from Seki as Takano tries to clinch. Takano finally gets the clinch and whips Seki to the ground, landing in side control. She takes S-mount and then throws punches and knees to Seki’s body until the round ends. 10-9 Takano.
Judges Yoshinori Umeki, Akira Yamazaki and Ryogaku Wada all see the bout for Takano, who takes the decision in a significant upset.
Winner: Satomi Takano by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 1-0-0.
48kg Jewels Amateur MMA Rules – 1×4
Naomi Taniyama vs Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Taniyama takes Ichikawa down and quickly passes guard, then takes mount. Ichikawa rolls and Taniyama takes her back. She attacks with an armbar and Ichikawa defends for a while, but Taniyama finally extends it for the technical submission finish.
Winner: Naomi Taniyama by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 1:29 of round one.
52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Semi-Final – 2×2
Reina Matsuda vs Ayumi Otaki
Matsuda controls the pressure, but Otaki lands consistent counters throughout the round. Otaki connects with a few stiff straight punches towards the end. 10-10.
Matsuda uses effective pressure again to control the pace and Otaki eats punches. Otaki rallies in the second half as Matsuda tires, however, and she lands punches of her own. 10-9 Matsuda.
Winner: Reina Matsuda by Majority Decision (20-19, 20-19, 19-19) after two rounds. She advances to the finals of the Jewels 52kg amateur kickboxing tournament at “21st Ring” in September.
52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Semi-Final – 2×2
Wano Sato vs Mari Suzuki
Sato is much taller but can’t seem to use her height to her advantage. Suzuki catches a few kicks and counters with body punches and a hard straight to the face. 10-9 Suzuki.
Sato is aggressive in this round, but it’s uncontrolled. Lots of punches land on Suzuki, but they’re weak and wild. Suzuki lands crisp counters here and there, but the reach gives her trouble. 10-10. Scores are 20-19 Sato and 19-19 twice. We head to an extension round.
Sato comes out aggressively again and Suzuki decides to do the same. Both land consistently, but the higher volume goes to Sato. 10-9 Sato.
Winner: Wano Sato by Split Decision (10-9, 10-9, 9-10) after one extension round. She advances to the finals of the Jewels 52kg amateur kickboxing tournament at “21st Ring” in September.
45kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
“Muay Thai Genius” Saya Ito vs Emi Matsushita
Ito uses switch kicks to the body and quick punching combinations to keep Matsushita on the back foot throughout the opening round. 10-9 Ito.
Matsushita comes out aggressively in this round but Ito picks her apart. Ito lands a series of body kicks that gets Matsushita a standing 8 count. Matsushita continues, but Ito sticks to hard kicks and lands another that knocks Matsushita down. The referee ends the fight at 1:49.
Winner: Saya Ito by TKO (Kick To The Body) at 1:49 of round two. She improves to 72-10-3.
48kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
Miiri Sasaki vs Kayoko Yamazaki
Both girls seem to favour leg kicks with sporadic wild punching. Yamazaki manages to land a few hard hooks, but leaves herself open for more wild punches from Sasaki. 10-10 opening round.
Yamazaki is tired. Sasaki controls the offence and lands clean body kicks. She follows with a head kick against the ropes and Yamazaki is given a standing 8 count. She continues to fight and the round ends soon after. 10-8 Sasaki.
Winner: Miiri Sasaki by Unanimous Decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) after two rounds.