Three more fights have been added to next Saturday’s Jewels: “21st Ring” event in Tokyo, Japan. Norway’s Celine Haga faces Anna Saito in a 53kg MMA bout. In amateur kickboxing action, Yukari Yamaguchi faces fellow teen prospect Miiri Sasaki, while Ayumi Otaki battles Yurika Yanaki.
A planned rematch between Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima and Sung Eun Kim has been scrapped due to Kim suffering an injury in training. Nagashima now faces off against South Korean MMA champion Mi-Jeon Chan. The bout will still be contested using Muay Thai rules that permit elbow strikes.
Haga (1-11-0) and Saito (1-10-0) sport nearly identical MMA records, but the fighters have taken much different paths during their careers in Jewels. Haga has won just one of her ten bouts for the promotion, but she has taken some of the top Jewels stars to hard-fought decisions and has shown considerable improvement on the ground in her recent fights. Saito has struggled badly during her Jewels tenure and has suffered submission setbacks in each of her five Jewels bouts. She will be a considerable underdog to her Norwegian foe when the fighters face off next weekend.
Teen kickboxers Yamaguchi and Sasaki are two of the top young strikers in Japan. Yamaguchi made an instant impact in her Jewels debut at age 13 in late 2011. Competing under MMA rules, Yamaguchi dominated Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa en route to an 80-second armbar win. Yamaguchi trains alongside Mizuki Inoue, who is arguably Japan’s best female prospect, and recently battled Sasaki’s teammate Saya Ito to a competitive decision in June. Sasaki is a former M-1 Muay Thai titleholder and took part in the inaugural Jewels under-15 kickboxing tournament this past year.
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]
- Shizuka Sugiyama vs Yurika Tanaka [62kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Mi-Jeon Chan [58kg Jewels Muay Thai Rules - 3x3]
- “Happy” Fukuko Hamada vs Satomi Takano [46kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Celine Haga vs Anna Saito [53kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Sumie Yamada vs Momoka [45kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Kiyo Narusawa vs Satoko Ozawa [58.97kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Reina Matsuda vs Wano Sato [52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Final - 2x2]
- Yukari Yamaguchi vs Miiri Sasaki [46kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules - 2x2]
- Ayumi Otaki vs Yurika Yanaki [55kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules - 2x2]