Jewels: "Fifth Ring" Results
by Robert Sargent
Beginning their inaugural Rough Stone Tournaments, Jewels showcased a series of excellent fights at "Fifth Ring," with some surprise victors. In the main event, South Korean star Seo Hee Ham defeated Japanese veteran Misaki Takimoto.
In tournament action, Tomoko Morii and Alexandra Sanchez picked up 60kg wins, Mika Nagano and Yuko Kagoshima won at 54kg and Asami Kodera and Kikuyo Ishikawa advanced at 48kg.
Seo Hee Ham vs Misaki Takimoto
Rebounding after a loss to #1-ranked Megumi Fujii at the final SmackGIRL event in April of 2008, Ham bested Takimoto in what was largely a kickboxing bout and walked away with a well-earned Unanimous Decision.
Ham's Muay Thai skills were on full display throughout the first round as she put together excellent combinations and kept Takimoto on the defensive. Takimoto fired back with some solid shots of her own, but Ham's combinations of punches and varied kicks seemed to break Takimoto down as the round wore on. Ham continued to score with front kicks and powerful leg kicks, but Takimoto landed counter hooks in the later stages of the round that slowed down Ham's offensive.
The second round saw Ham score with more impressive combinations of punches and quick kicks and the strikes began to take their toll on Takimoto. Though she fought back with more counters, Takimoto got the worst of all of the heavy striking exchanges. Near the middle of round two, Ham backed Takimoto into the corner with a series of hard punches that resulted in a standing count from the referee. Takimoto fought on, but began resorting to desperation takedown attempts and met with no success. Ham scored another standing count at the end of the round when she dropped Takimoto with more punches.
Despite receiving a Yellow Card at the beginning of the fight for weighing in 0.4kg over the limit, Ham easily took the victory on the scorecards and may face Jewels ace Saori Ishioka in a shootboxing fight at an upcoming Jewels event.
Seo Hee Ham by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 4-3-0.
Megumi Yabushita vs Atsuko "Bullfight Sora" Emoto
One of Japan's most famed gatekeepers, original SmackGIRL Open-Weight Champion Yabushita made short work of one-time contender Emoto, but she had to survive early danger before her hand was raised.
Yabushita attempted a shoulder throw takedown early in round one, but Emoto reversed and quickly took Yabushita's back. Yabushita remained calm and eventually worked free and wound up in Emoto's guard. Little transpired on the ground and the fighters were brought back to their feet. Yabushita attempted a second shoulder throw takedown and got Emoto to the mat, then quickly secured an armbar that forced Emoto to submit.
Megumi Yabushita by Submission (Armbar) at 2:43 of round one. She improves to 18-15-0.
60kg Rough Stone Tournament Bouts
Alexandra Sanchez vs Shizuka Sugiyama
Handing the highly-touted Sugiyama her first career defeat, Sanchez used her height and reach advantage to keep Sugiyama at bay and dropped her in the second round en route to a lopsided Unanimous Decision win.
Sugiyama attempted takedowns whenever possible in the first round, but met with punches for her troubles and could not get Sanchez down. As Sugiyama had feared the day before, Sanchez's significant height and reach advantage allowed her to keep Sugiyama at a distance, which made it even more difficult for the Japanese star to get her German opponent to the mat. Sanchez continued to score points with effective strikes and Sugiyama offered relatively little in return.
The second round was very similar and Sanchez once again easily fought off Sugiyama's attempts to get the fight to the ground. Sanchez used jabs and mixed in kicks that kept Sugiyama guessing, which prevented Sugiyama from ever finding a rhythm. Late in the round, Sanchez dropped Sugiyama and earned a standing count, but Sugiyama soldiered on until the final bell.
Alexandra Sanchez by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 2-0-0 and advances in the 60kg Rough Stone Tournament.
Tomoko Morii vs Chihiro Oikawa
After losing her pro debut to #1-ranked Megumi Fujii at "First Ring," Morii picked up her first victory with an armbar in the first round.
Oikawa opened the fight with wild punches that backed Morii up and forced her to clinch. Oikawa landed knees and short punches, then tried unsuccessfully for takedowns and strangely opted to pull guard. This process repeated itself once more and Oikawa ended up on the bottom. Morii eventually passed Oikawa's guard and worked to side-control, then secured a fight-ending armbar moments later.
In an interesting note, all of Morii and Oikawa's fights to date have ended via armbar.
Tomoko Morii by Submission (Armbar) at 4:13 of round one. She improves to 1-1-0 and advances in the 60kg Rough Stone Tournament.
54kg Rough Stone Tournament Bouts
Mika Nagano vs Rina Tomita
Fresh off of her provocative photo shoot for Jewels, Nagano picked up her second straight submission victory over Tomita, as Tomita once again fell victim to an armbar.
While their first bout, at "Fourth Ring," made it to the early stages of round two, Nagano dominated Tomita in their second meeting and made sure that the fight didn't make it out of round one. After scoring a takedown mere seconds into the fight, Nagano worked from the top and moved to half-guard, then landed strikes to the body and went straight to mount. Tomita defended and briefly reversed position, but Nagano latched onto her arm and secured an armbar. Tomita tried gamely to escape, but the referee had seen enough and saved Tomita from further danger.
Mika Nagano by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 2:25 of round one. She improves to 4-2-0 and advances in the 54kg Rough Stone Tournament.
Yuko Kagoshima vs Yuko "Amiba" Oya
Making her pro debut, Kagoshima picked up a convincing Unanimous Decision over Oya, who suffered her first defeat in the process.
Kagoshima began the fight with some solid punching combinations, but Oya clinched and tried for a takedown. She could not get Kagoshima down and the referee separated the fighters. Kagoshima went back to striking until Oya attempted a headlock takedown. Kagoshima fought if off with a knee and a body kick, but Oya managed to get her down on the third try. Oya wasted little time in working for an armbar, but Kagoshima defended and got back to her feet near the end of the round.
Round two was all Kagoshima, as she first battered Oya with big punches and then landed knees when Oya tried for a takedown. Oya continued to try to get the fight back to the ground, where she had found reasonable success in round one, but Kagoshima had none of it. Later in the round, Kagoshima countered a takedown from Oya with a guillotine choke, but Oya managed to free herself before the bell. There was no doubt as to the victor of the fight, however, as Kagoshima picked up her first win.
Yuko Kagoshima by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 1-0-0 and advances in the 54kg Rough Stone Tournament.
48kg Rough Stone Tournament Bout
Asami Kodera vs Shinsaki Ozawa
After a back-and-forth opening round that saw both fighters land hard strikes, Kodera secured a triangle choke in round two and used a combination armbar to force Ozawa to submit.
Round one began with a lengthy punching exchange from both fighters and a clinch followed. Ozawa scored with a quick flurry and a knee to the body, which prompted Kodera to try unsuccessfully for a takedown. Action resumed on the feet and Kodera took Ozawa down. A scramble ensued and both fighters reversed the other, but Kodera held top position and moved to side-control. She tried to set up an armbar just before the bell, but could not submit her opponent.
The second round started with a big right hook from Kodera, who followed with more strikes and tried for a takedown. Ozawa reversed the throw attempt, but fell into a triangle choke from Kodera in the process. When Ozawa did not initially give up, Kodera applied an armbar on Ozawa's right arm and Ozawa was forced to submit.
Asami Kodera by Submission (Triangle Armbar) at 1:56 of round two. She improves to 4-3-0 and advances in the 48kg Rough Stone Tournament.
Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Asako
Originally set to be a 48kg Rough Stone Tournament bout, Ishikawa's original opponent went down with injury and Ishikawa received a Bye to the finals of the tournament as a result. Instead, she competed in non-tournament action against kickboxer Asako, who was making her MMA debut.
Asako began the fight with a punching combination, but was tagged with a counter right. Ishikawa clinched, then quickly jumped and took Asako's back. Within seconds, Ishikawa secured a rear naked choke and Asako had no choice but to submit.
Kikuyo Ishikawa by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:18 of round one. She improves to 2-0-0 and will compete in the finals of the 48kg Rough Stone Tournament after receiving a Bye.
Ayuka Hamazaki defeated actress and pro wrestler Hikaru Shida by Submission (Armlock) at 0:38 of their one-round fight.
Masami Tsujiyama and Miki "Planet" fought to a Draw after four minutes.
After the event, it was announced that Saori Ishioka would likely face Japanese legend Mari Kaneko at "Sixth Ring" in December. Kaneko will return to competition for the first time since 2005.