A rematch between two of the top female fighters in Asia has been added to the upcoming DEEP: “52 Impact” card in Tokyo, Japan on February 25th. Japan’s Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka will look to avenge the second loss of her career when she rematches South Korean standout Seo Hee Ham.
The two first squared off in the opening round of the 2008 Smackgirl World ReMix Grand Prix, with Ham emerging victorious via Unanimous Decision. Ham most recently competed in the Jewels Lightweight Queen tournament, but lost in the final round against Megumi Fujii protégé Ayaka Hamasaki.
Ishioka (11-5-0) has been a mainstay in the all-female Jewels promotion; having competed on all but three of the brand’s 11 cards to date and sporting an impressive 6-2 record during that time. The karate practitioner has faced tough opposition in many of her recent fights and holds big career wins over Mika “Future Princess” Nagano, “Slick” Sally Krumdiack and Yuko “Amiba” Oya. Ishioka’s goal of becoming the first Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion was crushed last July when she was defeated by Sakura Nomura, but she has since battled back with two victories. A win over Ham under the DEEP banner could set up a title shot for Ishioka in Jewels later this year.
Ham (6-4-0) sports an extremely deceiving record and has faced some of the toughest opposition of any female fighter in MMA history through just 10 fights. After making her professional debut at DEEP: “28 Impact” in early 2007 with a huge upset victory over then-champion Hisae Watanabe, Ham then had to face a Murderer’s Row of opposition that included the likes of Miku “Supernova” Matsumoto, Yuka “Vale Tudo Queen” Tsuji and Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii. The talented kickboxer is 4-2 in her last six fights, including the past win over Ishioka. In December, Ham edged Mika Nagano to advance to the Jewels Lightweight Queen finals, but was surprisingly outstruck by now-champion Hamasaki.
Other bouts on the “52 Impact” card will feature DEEP Bantamweight Champion Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari taking on Hiroshi “Iron” Nakamura, while DEEP Light Heavyweight Champion Yoshiyuki Nakanishi drops down to the middleweight division to face long-time DEEP mainstay Ryuta Sakurai.
DEEP: “52 Impact” takes place on February 25th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.