Japan’s all-female Jewels promotion returned to Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo tonight for Jewels: “21st Ring.” The event was headlined by a Muay Thai bout between Jewels kickboxing veteran Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima and South Korean challenger Mi-Jeon Chan, who made her promotional debut.
In featured MMA action on the card, top Jewels star Mika “Future Princess” Nagano clashed with newcomer Tomo Maesawa, while Shizuka Sugiyama looked for her second straight victory when she faced off against Yurika Tanaka. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s Jewels event.
58kg Jewels Muay Thai Rules – 3×3
Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Mi-Jeon Chan
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. Chan comes out aggressive, landing low kicks and knees in the clinch. Given that this is a Muay Thai rules bout, clinching is allowed, and Nagashima eventually starts returning the favour. At one point, Nagashima almost tips Chan out of the ring from between the top and middle ropes after twisting her up in the clinch.
It becomes evident from the halfway point that Nagashima has the advantage in clinch control, controlling the distance between them to neutralise some of her opponent’s knees while keeping the optimal distance for her own.
Nagashima’s edge in the fight becomes much more pronounced in this round as Chan begins to wilt under both pressure and her fading stamina. She and her corner are warned by referee Wada to raise her knees, which are sinking lower and lower by the second. Nagashima, on the other hand, continues to punish the Korean fighter in the clinches with her own knees and the occasional elbow.
Chan looks in rough shape. Despite putting a decent effort into throwing offence, it’s all very messy given her fatigue. Her hands are down below her hips and her mouth is open as she gasps for air between referee breaks. Nagashima continues to put it to her with knees and the occasional elbow in the clinch, once again almost folding her backward between the top and middle ropes. The exhausted Chan winces and needs help from referee Wada to get back into the ring this time.
Judges Kenichi Serizawa and Akira Yamazaki both score the fight 30-27, while judge Yoshinori Umeki has it 30-28 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Nagashima.
Winner: Kozue Nagashima by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28) after three rounds.
52kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Tomo Maesawa
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Maesawa sticks to the outside, circling and pumping jabs from both southpaw and orthodox stance. Nagano returns fire with jabs of her own, but as Maesawa continues to lean backward when throwing, neither she nor Nagano really connect. Nagano momentarily gets Maesawa to the canvas, but Maesawa quickly pops back to her feet to continue circling and pawing at her taller opponent.
Nagano closes in and clinches up, tripping Maesawa to the canvas. She takes side control, then tranistions to North-South position where she works for an armlock. Nagano eventually gives it up to retake side control before transitioning fully to Maesawa’s back. Nagano drops hard punches to Maesawa’s ribs in an attempt to soften her up for a rear-naked choke. She does not get it before the bell.
Maesawa paws again from the outside, but Nagano soon cuts her off and pulls her into the clinch. She lands a few punches and uppercuts in close before tripping her shorter opponent to the canvas. Nagano moves from half-guard to side control, then from side control to mount. Maesawa gives up her back and Nagano works to both stay on top and sink a choke.
Maesawa’s not making it easy, however, and she has a firm grip on both of Nagano’s wrists. Nagano eventually frees her hands and gives up the choke, going instead for an armbar. Of course, as this is Jewels, there is no tap. Referee Umeki calls the technical submission at 3:37.
Winner: Mika Nagano by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 3:37 of round two. She improves to 10-7-0.
45kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules – 3×3
Momoka vs Sumie Yamada
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. Yamada doesn’t really attack so much as just walk into clinches before sending her hands whizzing past Momoka’s head. Thus, Momoka is able to land some blistering counter knees, punches and crosses on Yamada’s face. One such counter drops Yamada to her back for a knockdown. When Yamada rises back to her feet, Momoka spends the final twenty seconds trying to finish her off with a flurry of non-stop punches against the ropes. Yamada survives to see round two.
Momoka starts the round strong, putting punch after punch on Yamada’s face. She knocks Yamada down again, this time with a right high kick across the jaw. Once again, she closes in with flurries in an attempt to finish Yamada, but the short karateka seems to have finally found her range and counters with a salvo of three perfectly placed punches to the face. This only backs Momoka off momentarily, however, as she again steps up the offence to close out the second round.
Yamada appears to be tired of being on the losing end of exchanges this round, and thus gives Momoka chase while putting punches on her. Momoka’s offensive output has fallen, though this is more due to the fact that she’s been the one dishing out the effective offence for the better two-thirds of this fight. Be that as it may, Yamada puts on a decent rallying effort in this third round, keeping Momoka on the retreat until the bell.
Judge Akira Yamazaki scores the fight 30-26, while judges Yoshinori Umeki and Kenichi Serizawa both have it 29-26 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Momoka.
Winner: Momoka by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 29-26, 29-26) after three rounds.
58.97kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules – 3×3
Satoko Ozawa vs Kiyo Narusawa
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. Narusawa has reach on Ozawa, but that seems to matter little to the shorter fighter. Ozawa plunges blindly forward, leading with either a push kick or a jab before unleashing with a right-handed windmill from hell. Narusawa lands several straight punches to Ozawa’s face, but they seem to do little damage to Ozawa physically, and even less mentally.
There’s no denying that this is an ugly, brutish fight that leaves the casual fight fan feeling lesser for having watched it. Ozawa has resorted to using her left hand as a measuring stick, holding it out until it connects with Ozawa’s face before launching her right-hand haymaker. While Narusawa is able to land some nice snapping punches this round, she still lacks the proper head movement to get her face out of the way of Ozawa’s right hand.
Narusawa does better this round, mixing up her strikes with uppercuts in the clinch and adding knees to the body for as long as she can get away with them before referee Wada breaks the fighters apart. Ozawa, ever the one-trick pony, continues to plow forward with windmills in the eventual hope that her opponent will just fall down and stop moving. That does not happen.
Judge Kenichi Serizawa scores the fight 30-28, while judges Akira Yamazaki and Yoshinori Umeki both see it 29-28 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Ozawa.
Winner: Satoko Ozawa by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds.
62kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Shizuka Sugiyama vs Yurika Tanaka
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Sugiyama starts the round with some nice neck-clinch wrestling and knees to the body. Tanaka eventually gets the upper hand in leverage to trip Sugiyama and gain top position in side control. Tanaka racks up a few punches to Sugiyama’s ribs before referee Serizawa stands them up. Both women return to clinching and trading knees, prompting another break before long. Sugiyama escapes the clinch and flurries with punches against the ropes.
Serizawa stops the bout to give Tanaka a standing eight count. Sugiyama tries again to piston punch Tanaka in the head when the bout resumes, but instead finds herself back in the clinch. Sugiyama is able to capture Tanaka in the rear waist-lock, however, and trips Tanaka to the canvas. She closes out the final thirty seconds alternating between setting up a rear-naked choke and landing punches and hammerfists into Tanaka’s ribs.
Both women go back to trading knees in the clinch. Serizawa breaks them up, allowing Sugiyama to blast Tanaka in the face with punches as she closes in for another clinch. Serizawa gives Tanaka a standing count, which she answers, but Sugiyama continues the barrage of punches as soon as the bout resumes and this prompts another standing count. Sugiyama pours it on the hapless Tanaka for a third time, this time getting a stoppage at 1:24 in the second.
Winner: Shizuka Sugiyama by TKO (Punches) at 1:24 of round two. She improves to 8-3-0.
46kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Satomi Takano vs “Happy” Fukuko Hamada
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Takano lands several one-twos to Hamada’s face before catching her in a guillotine. It’s not deep, which thus prompts referee Serizawa to break them apart shortly thereafter. Hamada soon finds herself in more trouble, however, and Takano stuffs a takedown and takes back mount to threaten with a rear-naked choke. Hamada escapes, but eventually gives up the mount.
Takano transitions back and forth from mount to side control, to side control from mount, looking for an optimal position to drop knees and punches to the body, and likely to lock up an arm-triangle choke. Serizawa strikes again, however, standing them up from the mount. It doesn’t matter much, though, as Takano gets it back to the ground, landing on top in half-guard just before the bell.
Takano’s superior control in the clinch sees her whipping Hamada back to the canvas to take top position in half-guard and side control. She doesn’t get much time to work there, however, as Serizawa is quick to stand them back up. Takano seems unfazed, though, using little effort to put Hamada back on her back to take the mount.
Hamada pulls out a reversal, flipping Takano onto her back to plant herself in guard. Takano goes for the armbar then, and Hamada defends by standing up and freeing her arms. Takano stands up as well and is greeted on the feet by a Hamada flurry. She puts Hamada on her back again and goes for a foot lock from a reverse mount. She doesn’t get it before the bell rings, however.
Judges Akira Yamazaki, Ryogaku Wada and Yoshinori Umeki all see the fight for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Takano.
Winner: Satomi Takano by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 2-0-0.
58kg Jewels Grappling Rules – 1×4
Mizuki Inoue vs Yukiko Suzuki
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Inoue stuffs a takedown and throws on a mounted guillotine to start the match. Suzuki works at extricating Inoue’s arms from her neck, and once she does, finds herself fighting off an armbar next. However, Inoue’s too fast, quickly yanking back to extend the arm. Referee Yamazaki immediately calls the technical submission 56 seconds into the round.
Winner: Mizuki Inoue by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 0:56 of round one.
53kg Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5
Celine Haga vs Anna Saito
Referee for this bout is Kenichi Serizawa. Haga puts a flurry of punches in Saito’s face, prompting the smaller Japanese fighter to return fire in kind. Once Saito has had it with being punched in the face, she shoots in for a takedown. Haga stuffs the takedown and takes Saito’s back, wrapping an arm around her face for the rear-naked choke. Saito defends by tucking her chin.
In an act of outright officiating negligence, referee Serizawa stands the fighters up. Haga catches a kick to the body and trips Saito to the mat, taking top position in half-guard. Haga then passes to mount and drops punches to Saito’s ribs. Haga transitions from knee on belly to side control in the final thirty seconds, riding out the round on top until the bell. A solid Haga round.
Haga puts hard, snapping punches on Saito’s face as Saito pushes blindly forward to close the distance. Haga adds knees to the body, which eventually collapse the diminutive Japanese fighter. Haga then retakes the mount, whereupon she slowly creeps her way upward to set up an armbar. Once she’s comfortable that she’s got the proper position and grips locked in, she extends the arm to get the technical submission at the 2:18 mark.
Winner: Celine Haga by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 2:18 of round two. She improves to 2-11-0.
52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Final – 2×2
Rena Matsuda vs Wano Sato
Referee for this bout is Ryogaku Wada. Matsuda disregards the height discrepancy and charges right in. Sato, however, reminds her of it by planting stiff punches on her face. For her part, though, Matsuda matches her blow for blow with low kicks.
While the fiesty Matsuda isn’t lacking in courage and aggression, she is lacking in height and head movement. Sato cuts through Matsuda’s barrages with stiff counters that snap her head back, sending sprays of sweat into the air. Be that as it may, Matsuda is unfazed, and continues her relentless assault to Sato’s body.
Judge Yoshinori Umeki sees the fight even at 19-19. Judges Akira Yamazaki and Kenichi Serizawa see it 20-18 and 20-19, respectively, for the winner by Majority Decision, Matsuda.
Winner: Rena Matsuda by Majority Decision (20-18, 20-19, 19-19) after two rounds. She becomes Jewels 52kg amateur kickboxing tournament champion.
48kg Jewels Grappling Rules – 1×4
Mina Kurobe vs Yuka Hiyama
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Kurobe stuffs a takedown to get top position. She bides her time, slowly setting up a Kimura armlock. As Hiyama defends, she gives up her back. It isn’t long before Kurobe takes after her coach, Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura, and locks up the rear-naked choke for the stop at 1:17.
Winner: Mina Kurobe by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:17 of round one.
46kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
Yukari Yamaguchi vs Miiri Sasaki
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Yamaguchi shows the same kind of flashes of violence that stablemate Mizuki Inoue is known for, charging in and peppering stiff punches and kicks to the face and body of Sasaki. While Sasaki is on the losing end of the exchanges, it’s not for lack of trying as she’s connecting with knees to the body and punches in close. It’s just that Yamaguchi doesn’t care and doesn’t seem to be fazed by any of her offence.
Yamaguchi is a little more conservative this round, allowing Sasaki to engage first. Sasaki is thus able to land some push kicks and knees to the body before Yamaguchi explodes with return offence, snapping her head back back with blistering flurries.
Judges Ryogaku Wada, Akira Yamazaki and Kenichi Serizawa all score the bout 20-19 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Yamaguchi.
Winner: Yukari Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision (20-19, 20-19, 20-19) after two rounds.
55kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
Ayumi Otaki vs Yurika Yanaki
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Yanaki has a slight reach and height advantage, but she doesn’t appear to realise it. While trying to walk down Otaki, she often finds herself at the end of counterpunches and low kicks. Otaki’s game is a defensive one, given that she’s the one backpedalling and sidestepping, but she’s arguably the one landing the best shots.
Otaki continues to batter Yanaki while retreating, landing stiff punches and single clinch knees before referee Umeki can break them. After two knockdowns from these barrages, Umeki decides that Yanaki has had enough, calling the bout at 1:31 of the second frame.
Winner: Ayumi Otaki by TKO (Knee and Punches) at 1:31 of round two.
53kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules – 2×2
Iori Miyagawa vs Kaoru Sahata
Referee for this bout is Yoshinori Umeki. Miyagawa exercises her superior height and reach to stick Sahata with barrages of punches and push kicks, much to comical effect. The diminutive Sahata can barely get in range long enough to land her windmills, let alone stay on her feet long enough without getting tripped up by her opponent’s long limbs.
The second round is a facsimile of the first with Miyagawa terrorising Sahata from ring post to ring post. She essentially tires herself out by being the only one throwing blows and connecting.
Judge Akira Yamazaki scores the lopsided fight 20-17, while judges Ryogaku Wada and Kenichi Serizawa both have it 20-18 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Miyagawa.
Winner: Iori Miyagawa by Unanimous Decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) after two rounds.
72kg Jewels Grappling Rules – 1×4
Misato Kimura vs Rie Fukui
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Kimura pancakes Fukui during a takedown attempt and dominates in top position. Transitioning from side control to North-South, Kimura clearly is the savvier grappler. Kimura starts hunting for a Kimura armlock from on top and almost gets it. Fukui escapes, but not for long. Kimura postures up and reapplies the lock. This time, she gets it far behind Fukui’s back, prompting referee Akira Yamazaki to call the bout at the 3:40 mark, ostensibly before Fukui hurts herself trying to escape.
Winner: Misato Kimura by Technical Submission (Kimura) at 3:40 of round one.
48kg Jewels Grappling Rules – 1×4
Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa vs Yuka Hiyama
Referee for this bout is Akira Yamazaki. Both Hiyama and Ichikawa circle each other at the centre, fighting for grip. Ichikawa jumps up for a flying triangle and almost locks it up. Hiyama pulls her head free, but Ichikawa keeps an arm for the armbar attempt. She pulls it back as Hiyama attempts to pry her off with her legs. Yamazaki doesn’t like the look of the armbar, though, and calls the technical submission shortly thereafter.
Winner: Naha Ichikawa by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 0:53 of round one.