A bout between Jewels star Hiroko Yamanaka and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medallist Randi Miller, first planned for August, has been announced for the upcoming Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” card on December 17th. The fight will be contested at 68kg (149.6 pounds) and will be Miller’s pro MMA debut.
Miller withdrew from the planned August bout due to what was first believed to be an injury. Later reports suggested that Miller had felt that she was not yet ready to make her pro debut at the time, but she will now do so against one of Jewels’s top fighters. Yamanaka has won six straight fights.
Yamanaka (10-1-0), who has been working diligently on her striking throughout the year, has stated intentions to keep the bout with Miller (0-0-0) standing. Miller captured a bronze medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Games and should hold a considerable advantage over Yamanaka in the strength and wrestling departments, but her striking and jiu-jitsu skills remain untested. Yamanaka, meanwhile, earned a quick submission win over last-minute replacement Sandy Furner in August.
While Miller gives up a huge amount of experience to Yamanaka, the Japanese standout is not known for her fight-finishing abilities and has gone to a decision eight times. Should Miller be able to take the fight to the mat and retain top position, she could score a major upset by defeating Yamanaka. Just as with the planned August fight, Yamanaka and Miller will face each other under special rules permitting strikes to the head on the ground.
Also announced for the “Eleventh Ring” card was a 50kg (110-pound) bout between Grabaka rep Miyoko Kusaka (1-2-0) and S-KEEP’s Asami Higa (0-0-0), who will make her pro debut. Meanwhile, Abe Ani Combat Club member Emi Murata (1-1-0) will look to rebound from her first loss when she faces Anna Saito (1-4-0) of Fight Chix in a 55kg (121-pound) matchup.
Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” takes place on December 17th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The event features the finals of the 2010 48kg, 52kg and 56kg Rough Stone Grand Prixs and will also crown the first Jewels Lightweight (115-Pound) Queen Champion.
MMARising.com will be live on-site in Tokyo for the event.
Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
– Seo Hee Ham vs Mika “Future Princess” Nagano (Jewels Lightweight Queen Semi-Final)
– Ayaka Hamasaki vs Sakura Nomura (Jewels Lightweight Queen Semi-Final)
– Winner of Ham/Nagano vs Winner of Hamasaki/Nomura (Jewels Lightweight Queen Final)
– Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Yukiko Seki (48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)
– Hiroko Kitamura vs Mai Ichii (52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)
– Mizuki Inoue vs Asako Saioka (56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)
– Miki Morifuji vs Kinuka Sasaki (Morifuji’s Retirement Match [57kg])
– Shizuka Sugiyama vs Esui (59kg Bout)
– Hiroko Yamanaka vs Randi Miller (68kg Bout)
– Miyoko Kusaka vs Asami Higa (50kg Bout)
– Emi Murata vs Anna Saito (55kg Bout)
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)