Valkyrie: "Valkyrie 1" Results
by Robert Sargent
Rising from the ashes of SmackGIRL, one of Japan's newest all-female promotions, Valkyrie, made an immediate impact with their debut event, which concluded with former SmackGIRL 115-Pound Champion Yuka "Vale Tudo Queen" Tsuji defeating V Hajime.
As part of the event's undercard, Roxanne Modafferi defeated newcomer Chisa Yonezawa after taking the fight on short notice when her superfight with Tara LaRosa was cancelled.
Yuka "Vale Tudo Queen" Tsuji vs V Hajime
Competing for the first time in nearly a year, the former SmackGIRL champion, Tsuji, looked to be at the top of her game, as she used takedowns and effective ground control to dominate Hajime en route to a Unanimous Decision win.
Hajime looked to keep the fight standing and immediately came forward with strikes in round one, scoring with leg kicks and punches before the fighters clinched. Hajime landed some solid knees, but Tsuji eventually managed to take the fight to the ground. Tsuji spent the rest of the round in Hajime's half-guard, where she rained down hammerfists for the duration of round one.
Round two was similar, as Hajime once again landed leg kicks and knees in the clinch early on, but was promptly taken down by Tsuji. On the ground, Tsuji landed punches and hammerfists that left Hajime scrambling, but Tsuji pressed her opponent up against the cage and continued the punishment for the remainder of the round.
Up two rounds to none, Tsuji scored another takedown in round three and once again landed strikes from the top. Hajime kept Tsuji from passing her guard, but Tsuji racked up numerous points with her punches. However, as Tsuji unleashed a flurry of strikes late in round three, Hajime locked on an armbar. Tsuji remained calm and escaped the submission, then went back to punches and dominated the remainder of the round for the clear-cut victory.
Yuka Tsuji by Unanimous Decision after three rounds. She improves to 21-1-0.
Yasuko Tamada vs Naoko Omuro
It came as no surprise that this bout between decision masters went to the judges, but neither fighter had done enough to earn a clear decision victory, and the bout was ruled a Majority Draw by two of the three judges.
All three rounds of the close fight were similar, as both fighters tried their hand at striking and met with limited success. Tamada used her reach advantage to evade the quick combinations from Omuro, and scored throughout the fight with front kicks and jabs, as well as a series of knees in the clinch. Omuro prevented Tamada from scoring any takedowns, but Tamada's reach and striking advantage led to one judge awarding the bout in her favour. The remaining two judges scored the bout even, leaving the decision as a Majority Draw.
Majority Draw (2-1) after three rounds. Tamada is now 8-4-3, while Omuro is 8-7-3.
"Windy" Tomomi Sunaba vs Emi Fujino
Though Fujino came out aggressively in the first round, her offence was quickly stifled, as Sunaba used her experience advantage to pick her spots and land effective strikes in the later rounds, earning her a Unanimous Decision.
Sunaba looked to strike early on, but Fujino's jab kept the veteran at bay. Fujino followed up by pushing Sunaba against the cage, but she could not score a takedown. This continued for the remainder of round one, as Sunaba prevented Fujino from getting a takedown or landing any strikes. In the second and third rounds, Sunaba began to score with strikes, including a series of hard punches and front kicks which bloodied the nose of Fujino. As hard as she tried, Fujino could not take the fight to the mat, and Sunaba's striking earned her the points needed for a win.
Tomomi Sunaba by Unanimous Decision after three rounds. She improves to 12-8-0.
Roxanne Modafferi vs Chisa Yonezawa
After her superfight with top-ranked female Tara LaRosa was cancelled, Modafferi took the fight with newcomer Yonezawa on short notice, and dominated the fight for three rounds.
Modafferi came rushing forward to begin the fight, using punches to back her inexperienced opponent against the cage. She proceeded to drill Yonezawa with a relentless series of knees, which forced Yonezawa to attempt to regain control of the clinch. Though Yonezawa landed a handful of punches in the clinch, Modafferi scored a takedown late in the round. Yonezawa managed to reverse position just before the bell, but round one went to Modafferi.
Round two was more of the same, as Modafferi first used strikes and then scored a takedown. She was once again reversed when trying to pass Yonezawa's guard, but Modafferi went for triangle and armbar attempts. Yonezawa was forced to scramble to escape the submissions, leaving Modafferi in control of the fight and ahead on the scorecards.
Roxanne Modafferi by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 13-4-0.
Madoka Ebihara defeated Akiko Naito by Submission (Armbar) at 2:45 of round one. She improves to 3-1-0.
Mamiko Mizoguchi and Emi "Sakura" Okada fought to a Unanimous Draw. Mizoguchi moves to 1-3-1, while Okada is 0-0-1.
Though the highly respected SmackGIRL promotion is all but gone, the addition of Valkyrie has reinvigorated women's mixed martial arts in Japan, with more events to come.