Veteran striker “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba competes one final time when she faces Jewels mainstay Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka at Pancrase Progress Tour 3 on March 11th in Tokyo, Japan. The fight will be Sunaba’s retirement bout after a 13-year career in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
Sunaba has long been considered one of MMA’s top female strikers and she has won five of her past six bouts. The 35-year-old has totalled a number of notable wins during her career, but she faces a stern test in her farewell fight against Ishioka, who is 11 years her junior and is also a skilled striker.
Sunaba (17-13-1) struggled early in her MMA career, but won nine of her 12 bouts between 2005 and late 2008. The stretch included victories over Misaki Takimoto, Emi Tomimatsu and Emi Fujino, but it also saw Sunaba suffer a gruesome ankle injury in a BodogFight bout with Bellator and Cage Warriors veteran Rosi Sexton. In recent years, Sunaba earned Unanimous Decision victories over the likes of fellow veteran Masako Yoshida and former prospect Monica Lovato, as well as an impressive stoppage of Brazil’s Maria Elisabete Tavares. She looks to close out her storied career with a big win in March.
Ishioka (11-7-0) has battled inconsistency throughout her career, but she remains one of the biggest names in Japan’s all-female Jewels promotion. Her résumé includes wins over Jewels postergirl Mika “Future Princess” Nagano, “Slick” Sally Krumdiack and Yuko “Amiba” Oya. Ishioka enters the fight with Sunaba on the first two-fight losing skid of her career, but the karate practitioner’s recent defeats came against elite opposition in the form of South Korea’s Seo Hee Ham and former Valkyrie champion Yuka “Vale Tudo Queen” Tsuji. She now makes her Pancrase debut and faces another tough opponent in Sunaba in a fight has the potential to be a highly competitive bout.
Pancrase Progress Tour 3 takes place on March 11th at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo Credit: Pancrase)