Valkyrie Flyweight Champion Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi will make her Pancrase debut on April 3rd when she takes on promotional veteran “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba. The featured bout will be part of Pancrase Impressive Tour 3 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan, and will be contested at 115.5 pounds.
Yamaguchi last fought on November 28th in a Valkyrie title rematch against Kyoko Takabayashi, which ended in a controversial Draw after three rounds. With Valkyrie’s future uncertain, Yamaguchi recently became a freelance fighter and will open a new chapter in her career when she faces Sunaba.
Yamaguchi (6-2-1), who formerly competed under the ring name “V Hajime,” has undergone significant changes in her career and training over the past three months, and has further plans for later in 2011. The jiu-jitsu and karate practitioner captured the Valkyrie 115-pound title 13 months ago by submitting MMA legend Yuka “Vale Tudo Queen” Tsuji with a rear-naked choke in just 76 seconds, but did not return to action for over nine months. At Valkyrie 8 in November, Yamaguchi narrowly escaped with a Majority Draw in the rematch with Takabayashi and decided that she would need to adjust her training in order to continue to improve.
Now training at multiple gyms as a freelance fighter, Yamaguchi has informed MMARising.com that her new training is going very well. Presently ranked as the world’s number three Flyweight in the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings and number seven pound-for-pound, Yamaguchi will have an opportunity to test her skills against Sunaba, a nine-year veteran who has won four straight fights.
Sunaba (16-12-1) has battled some of the top female fighters in Japan’s history during her career and holds notable wins over Misaki Takimoto, Emi Fujino, Masako Yoshida and Monica Lovato. With eight knockout wins to her credit and technical striking that is matched by few, Sunaba is a tough test for any opponent on the feet, and she has developed improved takedown and submission defence in recent years after struggling earlier in her career. She reigned perfect in 2010 with four victories in four bouts, including a pair of fights under the Pancrase banner. Sunaba will return to the Pancrase ring to face Yamaguchi in a bout contested under Pancrase Athena Rules.
Pancrase Impressive Tour 3 takes place on April 3rd at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)