Grappling ace Emi Tomimatsu will test her striking skills in a shoot boxing match at Jewels: “22nd Ring” on December 15th in Tokyo. Tomimatsu is set to face Nako Otsuka in one of three additional bouts confirmed for the card today. In a Jewels first, the event will be contested inside a cage.
A pair of mixed martial arts bouts have also been added to the Jewels card. Megumi Yabushita, an MMA pioneer for women in Japan, faces off against American wrestling champion Jade Marie Anderson in a featherweight matchup. Miyoko Kusaka returns to Jewels to face Norway’s Celine Haga.
Tomimatsu (5-5-0 MMA) has enjoyed a successful run in Jewels since returning to MMA competition in 2011 following a lengthy injury layoff. She posted wins on three consecutive Jewels cards, but she is now coming off of a competitive decision loss to former Valkyrie champ “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi in a July rematch. Though primarily known for her formidable ground skills, Tomimatsu has also shown marked improvement in her standup game and she will now put her striking skills to the test against Otsuka, who most recently took part in the Shoot Boxing JKS48 high school girls’ tournament in August.
Otsuka battled tournament finalist Akari “Eneos” Nakamura to a Majority Draw through three rounds, but Nakamura was dominant in an extension round and eliminated Otsuka from the competition as a result. Otsuka now seeks her first win under the Jewels banner as she debuts for the promotion. She will move up slightly in weight for the 50kg bout with Tomimatsu, who traditionally competes at 52kg. Tomimatsu has already begun lowering her walking weight in preparation for the fight.
Yabushita (19-20-0) will hold a tremendous experience edge over Anderson (0-0-0), but injuries have taken their toll on the aging Yabushita in recent years and she has suffered defeats in four straight fights. The long-time MMA and pro wrestling veteran will have a tough fight on her hands on the Jewels card. Anderson, a former high school wrestling champion and top-ranked collegiate competitor from Simi Valley, California, later relocated to Busan, South Korea, and she has since begun training with CMA Korea and Busan Team M.A.D. in preparation for a debut in MMA. She is now set to make that debut in a rather high-profile matchup against Yabushita, and while she lacks experience, Anderson should have a significant advantage in both speed and power.
Kusaka (3-4-1) returns to action for the first time in more than 14 months to face Haga (2-11-0). Kusaka alternated between losses and wins in each of her first seven fights and most recently battled Mamiko Mizuguchi to a time limit Draw at a Grabaka-promoted event. The grappling specialist holds a notable victory over top Jewels contender Kikuyo Ishikawa and now looks to even out her record in her Jewels return. Haga has faced tough opposition throughout her career, but despite a record that may suggest otherwise, she has improved considerably over the past year. Haga most recently secured her second pro win by submitting Anna Saito at Jewels: “21st Ring” in September.
Jewels: “22nd Ring” takes place on December 15th at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. For the first time in the promotion’s history, the event will be contested inside a cage instead of a ring.
Jewels: “22nd Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
– Ayaka Hamasaki vs Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino [Jewels Lightweight Queen Championship – 3×5]
– Shizuka Sugiyama vs Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi [59kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Satomi Takano vs Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada [46kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Rina Tomita [52kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]*
– Mizuki Inoue vs Hyo Kyung Song [52kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Tomo Maesawa [48kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Megumi Yabushita vs Jade Marie Anderson [65kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Miyoko Kusaka vs Celine Haga [51kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Yasuko Mogi vs Keiko Tomita [56kg Jewels Special Rules – 2×5]
– Yurika Tanaka vs Rie Fukui [65kg Jewels Official Rules – 2×5]
– Naomi Taniyama vs Mina Kurobe [48kg Jewels Official Rules – 2×5]
– Emi Tomimatsu vs Nako Otsuka [50kg Shoot Boxing Rules – 3×2]
– Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki vs Satoko Ozawa [60.5kg Kickboxing Rules – 3×3]
– Reina Matsuda vs Harumi [51.5kg Kickboxing Rules – 3×2]
– Naoko Omuro vs TBD [Jewels Exhibition MMA Match]**
*Tomita’s retirement bout.
**Omuro’s retirement bout.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)