Top Japanese prospect Mizuki Inoue will make her North American debut at Invicta Fighting Championships 6 in the summer. Inoue has agreed to face popular Australian rising star Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt in a featured strawweight bout on the event’s main card, which is targeted for late June or mid-July.
MMARising.com confirmed plans for the 115-pound fight with sources close to the negotiations on Friday. The bout is subject to commission approval. Inoue is one of the most gifted female fighters in Japan today, but she faces a tough test in Hyatt, who has impressed in both of her fights for Invicta FC.
Inoue (5-1-0) made her pro MMA debut for Jewels in October 2010, less than two months after her 16th birthday, and went on to win the promotion’s 56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix tournament with a pair of submission victories. She returned to MMA the following September and battled Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki to a hard-fought decision, but came up just short on the scorecards. Inoue has since rebounded with three more submission victories, including one over fellow Invicta FC signee Alex “Astro Girl” Chambers, but she has struggled to find willing opponents and has endured a number of last-minute opponent changes in recent months.
In addition to her time in MMA, Inoue, who graduated from high school earlier this year, has remained very active in kickboxing, shoot boxing and grappling. She holds 4-1 records in both kickboxing and shoot boxing, and became the inaugural Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5-kilogram winner in August. While she is primarily known for her striking skills, which are among the best of any female MMA fighter today, it is the 18-year-old Inoue’s ground game that has led her to victory in all five of her MMA wins.
Hyatt (5-2-0) is one of the fastest rising new stars in the women’s strawweight division and she is also one of the sport’s most popular and fan-friendly competitors. After suffering a loss in her pro debut, Hyatt rallied back with four straight wins – including three inside the distance – to earn a spot on the Invicta FC roster. She was originally scheduled to battle Scottish striker Joanne Calderwood in her January debut at Invicta FC 4, but a late lineup change propelled Hyatt into the main event title fight against standout wrestler Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza.
Though Hyatt’s short-notice bid to become the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion was unsuccessful, she put on a very strong performance in defeat and nearly secured a last-second TKO in the final stages of the fifth round. This past weekend, Hyatt returned to the United States to face Austrian rival Jasminka “Impressive” Cive at Invicta FC 5. Hyatt was in full control of the fight from start to finish and she landed numerous punches and elbows from mount before transitioning to a fight-ending armbar.
The planned bout between Inoue and Hyatt matches up two of the division’s brightest prospects against each other, and the winner will take a big step towards contention for the 115-pound Invicta FC title that is currently held by Esparza.
Invicta Fighting Championships 6 is targeted for late June or mid-July in Kansas City, Missouri, though no official date or venue has been announced by the promotion. The event will be headlined by an Invicta FC Featherweight Championship rematch between former Strikeforce titleholders Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Marloes “Rumina” Coenen. Justino prevailed in the pair’s first meeting in January 2010.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)