Four additional matchups have now been confirmed for Jewels: “21st Ring” on September 22nd in Tokyo, Japan. Promotional star Shizuka Sugiyama makes a quick return to action after a victory in July and faces Jewels newcomer Yurika Tanaka. The bout will serve as Tanaka’s MMA debut.
In one of three kickboxing matches added to the card, NJKF Bonita Boxeo champion Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima faces South Korean titleholder Sung Eun Kim in a rematch from Jewels: “16th Ring” in September. Nagashima won the first bout via second-round KO after landing a knee to the body.
Sugiyama (7-3-0) had a much tougher fight on her hands than many had anticipated when she returned from a 19-month hiatus to face veteran Megumi Yabushita at “20th Ring.” In a back-and-forth ground battle, Sugiyama was able to control enough of the fight to take a narrow Split Decision on the judges’ scorecards and showcased some of her improved jiu-jitsu skills after training in Australia for one year. The recently-promoted BJJ blue belt will face off against another veteran judoka when she welcomes Tanaka (0-0-0) to the Jewels ring. Tanaka enters her first MMA fight as a relative unknown and as an obvious underdog against Sugiyama, but she may be able to upset the popular prospect if she can keep Sugiyama on the defensive as Yabushita did this past month.
Nagashima had little trouble in dispatching of Kim in the pair’s first fight in 2011, but the South Korean will have a chance for redemption when the fighters face off for a second time next month. Nagashima overwhelmed Kim with strikes in round one of their 2011 encounter, but Kim stayed on her feet until a vicious knee to the body in round two doubled her over and forced the referee to call a stop to the fight. Nagashima has quickly become a staple of Jewels cards as the promotion continues to actively promote kickboxing matches.
In other action, veteran striker Sumie Yamada takes on this year’s Jewels/Deep 47kg kickboxing tournament champion Momoka. Yamada has remained active in shoot boxing and kickboxing matches in recent years and returns to Jewels for the first time since an MMA bout on the promotion’s inaugural card in 2008. Momoka defeated Kaoru Chatani and Akari Nakamura in a single night at “19th Ring” in May to win the kickboxing tournament. Rounding out today’s additions is a kickboxing bout between J-Girls veteran Kiyo Narusawa and Satoko Ozawa, who looks to rebound from a Majority Decision loss at Jewels: “18th Ring” in March.
The four fights join a previously announced kickboxing bout between Reina Matsuda and Wano Sato on the card. Matsuda and Sato will face off in the final of the Jewels 52kg amateur kickboxing tournament.
Jewels: “21st Ring” takes place on September 22nd at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan.
Jewels: “21st Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
- Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Sung Eun Kim [60kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Sumie Yamada vs Momoka [45kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Kiyo Narusawa vs Satoko Ozawa [58.97kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Shizuka Sugiyama vs Yurika Tanaka [62kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Reina Matsuda vs Wano Sato [52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Final - 2x2]
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)