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Yuko Yamanaka Defeats Shannon Hooper

Jewels: "Third Ring" Results

by Robert Sargent

Picking up right where they left off in February, the all-female Jewels promotion showcased some exciting fights at "Third Ring," which culminated with former SmackGIRL Open Weight Champion Yuko "Hiroko" Yamanaka dominating Shannon Hooper.

Earlier in the evening, Saori Ishioka defeated Kanako Oka in a Shootboxing match, then requested an MMA bout with #1-ranked female fighter Megumi "Mega Megu" Fujii.

Yuko "Hiroko" Yamanaka vs Shannon Hooper

Making use of a seemingly endless barrage of leg kicks and impressive knees in the clinch, Yamanaka prevented Hooper from landing much of anything, which resulted in a clear-cut Unanimous Decision for the former dominatrix.

Hooper spent much of round one trying to get in close to land punching combinations, but Yamanaka's reach advantage and vicious leg kicks kept Hooper at a distance. Yamanaka used stiff jabs to keep Hooper guessing, but it was her dozens of kicks to Hooper's left leg that did most of the damage. By the midway point of round one, Hooper's leg was already swollen and discoloured. In the few instances where Hooper managed to close the distance, Yamanaka locked on a Thai clinch and threw a series of knees. Hooper managed to block most of the strikes, but could offer very little offence in return.

Round two was very similar, as Yamanaka once again established her range with quick jabs and hard kicks to Hooper's lead leg. Hooper tried to chase Yamanaka into corners to land strikes, but the leg kicks took their toll and slowed Hooper down considerably. More combinations landed for Yamanaka, whose kicks were simply too much for Hooper. This continued until the bell sounded to end the fight, giving Yamanaka a decisive victory.

Winner: Yuko Yamanaka by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 7-1-0.

Misaki Takimoto vs Yukiko Seki

Competing in her 24th fight, Takimoto got back on the winning track by dropping Seki with knees and quickly taking her back, where she first looked for a choke and later settled for a fight-ending armbar. The loss drops Seki's record to a woeful 4-15-0, while Takimoto gets back to even.

Seki gamely came out swinging in this fight, as she looked to land quick flurries in the early stages. Takimoto remained calm and kept her distance, then fired back strikes of her own. The fighters clinched and Takimoto landed three hard knees that dropped Seki. Takimoto immediately took Seki's back and tried to secure a rear naked choke, but Seki fought it off. Takimoto landed punches from the back to try to weaken Seki's defences, but Seki did well to escape the chokes. However, Takimoto transitioned into an armbar and Seki could not escape. She was forced to submit, giving Takimoto a much-needed win.

Though Takimoto's record isn't the best, it must be noted that she has competed against many of the top female fighters in the world, including an incredible four fights with Miku "Supernova" Matsumoto (winning two), three more with Satoko Shinashi and one each with Lisa Ward, "Windy" Tomomi Sunaba and the #1-ranked Megumi "Mega Megu" Fujii. Clearly, some incredibly tough competition.

Winner: Misaki Takimoto by Submission (Armbar) at 3:40 of round one. She improves to 10-10-4.

Shizuka Sugiyama vs Celine Haga

Completely dominating the fight from start to finish, Sugimaya used kicks, punches and effective ground control that left Haga shell-shocked and unable to do anything. In the end, Sugiyama walked away with a lopsided decision victory.

The first half of round one saw Sugiyama immediately establish herself with kicks to the legs and body. She mixed in jabs and crosses that kept Haga on the defensive. Aside from occasional haymakers that often missed badly, Haga literally could not do anything to Sugiyama, who seemed to be able to land strikes at will. In the later stages of the round, Haga attempted to take the fight to the mat, but Sugiyama stuffed the takedowns and left Haga gasping for air.

Round two was more of the same, as Haga was simply overmatched and never had Sugiyama in any danger. Sugiyama defended numerous takedown attempts and landed punches from a sprawled position or from Haga's guard. The lone issue that Sugiyama faced in the round was a Yellow Card for accidentally striking the head of Haga while on the ground, which is not permitted in Jewels. This did little more than slow the pace in the final minutes, however, as Sugiyama cruised to an easy victory.

Winner: Shizuka Sugiyama by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 3-0-0.

Mika Nagano vs Shinsaki Ozawa

Rebounding after a tough decision loss to Saori Ishioka, Nagano made quick work of Ozawa by taking advantage of a failed takedown attempt and quickly securing an armbar that ended the fight.

Nagano scored a takedown early in round one and moved directly to mount. However, Ozawa did a very good job of holding on and preventing Nagano from posturing up, which resulted in the referee standing the fighters up after a period of inactivity. Ozawa then attempted a takedown of her own, but was promptly reversed. From mount once again, Nagano latched onto Ozawa's arm and quickly spun into an armbar. Before Ozawa could tap, the referee called off the fight to spare Ozawa from any serious damage.

Much like Misaki Takimoto, Nagano's even win/loss record isn't the most impressive, but with her lone defeats coming against top stars Megumi Fujii and Saori Ishioka, Nagano could be a contender in the coming years.

Winner: Mika Nagano by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 2:09 of round one. She improves to 2-2-0.

Chihiro Oikawa vs Harumi

After bombarding her opponent with strikes in the opening minute, Oikawa knocked Harumi to the mat with punches from a clinch and soon transitioned to an armbar that handed Harumi her eleventh loss in as many fights.

Oikawa came out very aggressively in this fight, as she landed combinations of hard punches in the early goings. She used flurries to back Harumi up, then clinched against the ropes. Oikawa attempted to pull guard or throw Harumi to the ground, but Harumi defended and remained in the clinch. Oikawa switched tactics and began to score with damaging punches from in close. Harumi fell to the mat and Oikawa wound up in mount. She wasted no time in securing an armbar that forced Harumi to submit.

With the loss, Harumi drops to an overall winless record of 0-11-0 and truly needs to consider a new career path.

Winner: Chihiro Oikawa by Submission (Armbar) at 2:22 of round one. She improves to 1-1-0.

Yuko "Amoeba" Oya vs Hanako Kobayashi

Though the fight began with a series of big punching exchanges, the pace slowed to a crawl in the latter half as the outlawing of strikes to the head on the ground rendered Oya's takedowns rather pointless. In the end, Oya took the win in fairly unimpressive fashion.

The fighters traded power punches early in round one and continued to punish each other with hard strikes throughout the opening minutes. Oya initially got the better of the exchanges, but Kobayashi tagged her with some vicious counterpunches. This prompted Oya to take the fight to the ground, but the inability to strike to the face made it difficult for her to set up submissions. Instead, she was forced to work from Kobayashi's guard, where she landed sparse strikes to the body.

Round two was much like the opening five minutes, as Oya followed up on strikes by scoring more takedowns. However, she was once again limited in what she could do on the ground, and had to settle for body shots as she tried to pass guard. The pace slowed and little transpired in the second half of the round, leaving Oya as the victor in a less than memorable bout.

Winner: Yuko Oya by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 2-0-0.

Miki Morifuji vs Mayu

Ending the fight as quickly as it began, Morifuji teed off with big punches right from the opening bell, which dropped Mayu and finished the fight in just 16 seconds.

Morifuji walked forward and let loose with a flurry of big punches to begin the fight, as Mayu strangely seemed to make no effort to block or evade the strikes. She was promptly floored by the punches from Morifuji and was unable to get up. The referee stopped the fight, giving Mayu her second straight first-round KO loss.

Winner: Miki Morifuji by KO (Punches) at 0:16 of round one. She improves to 7-5-0.

Shootboxing Fights:
Kozue "Azuma" Nagashima defeated Misato Tomita by Unanimous Decision.

Saori Ishioka defeated Kanako Oka by Unanimous Decision.


With Yuko Yamanaka setting herself up for a potential title bout in the future, and the impending showdown between top stars Megumi Fujii and Saori Ishioka, the second half of 2009 looks to be very bright for the Jewels promotion. - The Warcraft III Community - The Warcraft III Community
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