UFC veteran and former Bantamweight Queen of Pancrase Rin Nakai made a successful return to action tonight at Deep Jewels 24 in Tokyo, Japan. Nakai, who was making her Deep Jewels debut, easily dispatched of the still-winless Kaewjai “Kaew” Prachumwong in the flyweight main event.

In tonight’s 49kg co-main event, Emi Tomimatsu overcame a late opponent change and submitted Mizuki Furuse with a first-round kimura. In featured strawweight action, AACC prospect Miki Motono stayed unbeaten by defeating veteran Deep Jewels contender Mika “Future Princess” Nagano.

 

Nakai (21-2-1) kept her distance early in the opening round and evaded most of Prachumwong’s (0-3-0) punches. Big combinations eventually landed for Nakai, who threw Prachumwong to the mat but allowed her to stand back up. Nakai bloodied Prachumwong’s nose with overhand rights and she countered head kicks with another takedown late in the round.

Prachumwong threw a kick in round two, but Nakai caught it and punished her with a series of right hands. Prachumwong continued to throw single strikes and Nakai landed combinations in return. She tripped Prachumwong and stood over her while landing hammerfists until Prachumwong turtled up and referee Naoya Uematsu jumped in to stop the fight at the 1:56 mark of round two.

“Thanks to Deep, [Shigeru] Saeki and the staff for their support, and thanks to all of the fans. This win is for you, not for me,” Nakai stated post-fight. “I rate my performance at 3/10 tonight. I trained those strikes and I wanted the finish when I got it. Deep Jewels fans gave me a warm welcome.”

 

Tomimatsu (15-14-0) struck first against Furuse (5-7-0) with a right cross and a trip takedown. She landed punches from the top that set up a move to half-guard. Furuse battled back to full guard, but Tomimatsu initiated a scramble and she wound up on top in North-South position. Tomimatsu latched on to a kimura on Furuse’s left arm and wrenched back until Furuse tapped out at the 4:28 mark of the opening round.

“I’m glad that I got to fight, and that is all due to my opponent [stepping in],” Tomimatsu said backstage after her win. “I knew that if I got top position that the fight was mine, and so I remained calm and finished her. I want to compete for a title again and for younger fighters to know that my top game is still strong. I would like to face opponents from other promotions and I am also interested in fighting for Rizin with my sister [Rie] singing my entrance song.”

“I want to fight as often as possible,” Furuse reflected post-fight after taking the bout with Tomimatsu on short notice. “I was stressed and nervous about this fight, but I am relieved now because I got to see how good the quality of a top fighter is. I need to train more.”

 

Motono (2-0-0) secured her biggest win to date by outworking Nagano (16-12-1) for ten minutes. Following an exchange of jabs and left hands, Motono pinned Nagano in a corner and took her down soon after. She postured up with punches and continued to strike as Nagano briefly got back to her feet. Motono secured another takedown seconds later and she punched her way free from Nagano’s gogoplata and armbar attempts.

In round two, Motono picked her shots early in with leg kicks and straight left hands. Nagano landed some of her best shots of the fight in return, but Motono was unfazed and she fired back with a head kick and a right hook behind the ear. Motono continued to get the better of the striking exchanges and she took Nagano down into half-guard late in the fight.

Judges Nagase, Matsumiya and Hashimoto all scored the fight 20-18 for Motono, who earned the Unanimous Decision win.

“I enjoyed fighting for Deep Jewels,” Motono stated backstage following her victory. “I was wary of Nagano’s armbar and so I took her down carefully rather than quickly. [My teammate] Ayaka [Hamasaki] fought for Rizin and I want to compete there as well. Her last fight was impressive and I want to learn more from her.”

 

Earlier on the card, Mao (2-2-0) took a Majority Decision victory over Nanaka “Nijika” Kawamura (2-4-0) in 51kg action. Mao countered Kawamura’s punches with knees and a variety of kicks in the opening round. She landed more kicks as the round progressed and stunned Kawamura with a flurry, but Kawamura recovered and landed two hard right hands before the bell. The fighters traded punches again in round two and Mao mixed in more leg and body kicks. She blasted Kawamura with a lengthy flurry of punches and the bout ended with both women throwing haymakers. Judge Toyonaga had the bout even at 19-19, while judges Matsumiya and Nagase both scored it 20-18 for Mao.

In atomweight action, Hikaru Aono (4-2-0) handed Mikiko Hiyama (0-6-0) a second-round submission defeat. Aono immediately shot in and scored a slam takedown in round one that set up a move from side control to mount and she looked to finish the fight with an arm-triangle choke. Hiyama escaped to her feet, but Aono took her back down and landed punches after threatening with a scarf hold armlock. Aono reversed a takedown and mounted Hiyama in round two and landed punches from the top. She spun into a deep armbar and Hiyama tapped out at the 2:36 mark of round two.

Momoko Yamazaki (1-1-0) picked up her first pro win by outpointing Ai Takei (1-2-0) in a 44kg matchup. Yamazaki was relentless in her pursuit of a takedown in round one and she eventually got Takei down into side control. She landed punches from the top and attempted two guillotine chokes before the end of the round. Yamazaki threatened with another guillotine choke and rushed in with punches in round two. She took Takei’s back, landed knees to the body and then scored another takedown late in the fight. Judges Uematsu, Yokota and Matsumiya all scored the fight 20-18 for Yamazaki, who took the Unanimous Decision victory.

Long-time veteran “Jet” Izumi Noguchi (7-9-1) earned a Unanimous Decision win over Ryoko “Ryo The Skywalker” Miyata (1-2-0) in a strawweight bout. Noguchi landed knees and punches in the opening round and she targeted Miyata’s midsection with strikes as the round progressed. Miyata looked to take the fight to the mat in the second stanza, but Noguchi stayed on her feet and she continued to get the better of the exchanges by mixing up her strikes with kicks and punches. Miyata attempted a late heel hook, but Noguchi escaped and she landed jabs and leg kicks until the bell. Judges Yokota, Fukuda and Matsumiya all scored the fight 20-18 for Noguchi.

In an uneventful bantamweight kickboxing bout, Shoko Fujita edged out Laurie Jezequel via Unanimous Decision. Fujita held a clear speed advantage in round one and she landed uppercuts and leg kicks in addition to straight punches. Jezequel threw single strikes at a time and her pace was very slow. Round two was better for Jezequel, who pressed the action with punch-kick combos, but Fujita rallied again in round three and she landed punches and body kicks that led to an exchange of heavy punches at the bell. Scores were 30-29 and 29-28 twice for Fujita.

In 49kg MMA action, Otoha Nagao (1-0-0) made a successful pro debut by defeating Sae Kokuho (0-2-0). Nagao struck first with punches and a head kick, but Kokuho took her down and struck from the top. Nagano scrambled up and hurt Kokuho with knees to the body, then dropped her with a combination. Kokuho reversed and secured a takedown, but Nagao reversed and Kokuho tried for a late armbar. Kokuho circled in round two and did very little until she dove in for a takedown. She got Nagao down and landed punches, but Nagano stood and countered with knees. Judge Matsumiya scored the fight even at 19-19, while judges Toyonaga and Nagase both had it 20-18 in favour of Nagano for a Majority Decision win.

Opening up the card, talented prospect Ai Shimizu (5-1-0) submitted Sayuri Yamaguchi (2-4-0) in the second round of their strawweight showdown. Shimizu scored a headlock throw in round one and she used ground and pound to set up a move to mount. Yamaguchi gave up her back and stood up, but Shimizu landed punches and knees throughout the remainder of the round. In round two, Shimizu secured another takedown and she landed punches until Yamaguchi gave up her back. Shimizu locked on a rear-naked choke and Yamaguchi tapped out at the 2:45 mark of round two. Shimizu credited Yamaguchi as a tough opponent and expressed an interest to compete for Rizin FF again in the future.

 

“I am thankful for Mizuki [Furuse] for taking the fight,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki stated following the event. “She should feel like a top fighter today. Rin’s fight was like a training session and that was how it appeared to me. She can face Shizuka [Sugiyama] or Kana [Watanabe] in the future. Our next event will be on September 1st at Shinjuku FACE and then a caged event in October at Korakuen Hall.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 24 card can be found here.

 

 

(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)