Top Jewels star Mika “Future Princess” Nagano is set to return to action on September 22nd at Jewels: “21st Ring” in Tokyo, Japan. Nagano will face off against BJJ purple belt Tomo Maesawa, who makes her professional MMA debut on the card. The bout was officially announced earlier today.
Also confirmed for the event was a matchup between Valkyrie and Pancrase veteran “Happy” Fukuko Hamada and undefeated Club Barbarian prospect Satomi Takano. Hamada’s three-fight unbeaten streak came to an end in April. Takano earned a dominant decision victory in her July pro debut.
Nagano (9-7-0) has found herself on the cusp of Jewels title contention on more than one occasion, but disappointing losses have kept the popular grappler just out of reach of a shot at the Jewels Lightweight Queen Championship held by Ayaka Hamasaki. In her most recent bout at “19th Ring” in May, Nagano put an end to her losing streak with a quick submission victory over journeywoman Anna Saito. She looks for her second win of the year when she faces the debuting Maesawa (0-0-0), a talented judoka and jiu-jitsu specialist who has been training in martial arts for over a decade.
Hamada (7-7-1) makes her Jewels debut in the bout with Takano (1-0-0) after a recent four-fight stint in Pancrase that yielded a pair of TKO victories. In April, Hamada suffered an eye injury in round two of her rematch with Naoko Omuro. As a result, Omuro was deemed the winner by TKO. Now fully recovered, Hamada looks for a new start in Jewels and faces a tough test in her first fight for the promotion. Takano is still new to MMA competition, but she is highly skilled on the ground and her one-sided victory over Yukiko Seki at “20th Ring” made it clear that she is one of the top prospects on the Jewels roster.
In addition to today’s fight announcements, Jewels officials amended the rules that will be used for a previously announced rematch between Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima and Sung Eun Kim. The fight will no longer be contested under standard kickboxing rules. Elbow strikes will now be permitted and the fight will be billed as a Muay Thai bout.
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):
- Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Tomo Maesawa [52kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- “Happy” Fukuko Hamada vs Satomi Takano [46kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Sung Eun Kim [60kg Jewels Muay Thai 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)