Eight more fights have been added to next Saturday’s Jewels: “24th Ring” event in Tokyo, Japan. Top Jewels star Mika “Future Princess” Nagano will aim for her third straight victory when she takes on Takumi Umehara, while former Valkyrie champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi faces Seo Ye Jung.
In other MMA action on the main card, fast-rising featherweight prospect Jade Marie Anderson looks to keep her unbeaten record intact when she takes on talented grappler Yurika Nakakura. Jewels title contender Emi Tomimatsu faces the returning Masako Yoshida in a grappling match.
Nagano (12-8-0) has been on the cusp of a Jewels title shot for close to two years. In March, she took a hard-fought Unanimous Decision win over Tomimatsu to claim the number one contender spot in the Jewels lightweight (114-pound) division. However, with Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki booked to compete at Invicta FC 6 in July, Nagano will have to wait for her shot at the belt. In the interim, the popular grappler looks to pick up her fifth win in her past six fights when she faces off against Umehara (1-0-0), who make a successful MMA debut in March by defeating Jewels producer and matchmaker Yasuko “Pink Spider” Mogi.
Yamaguchi (10-5-1) has battled many of the sport’s top strawweight competitors in her past five fights, but the former Valkyrie titleholder has encountered mixed success. She rebounded from a July 2011 loss to Seo Hee Ham by narrowly edging out Nagano in a razor-thin bout five months later. After a loss to Katja Kankaanpää and a second win over former Smackgirl rival Tomimatsu, Yamaguchi engaged in an action-packed battle with long-time pound-for-pound queen Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii in December, but dropped a close two-round decision. She steps back into the ring to face South Korean kickboxer Jung (0-1-0), who suffered a submission loss in her short-notice MMA debut at Jewels: “23rd Ring.” Jung is undefeated in kickboxing and hopes to secure her first MMA win by upsetting Yamaguchi.
Rounding out the MMA additions to the card, Anderson (2-0-0) and Nakakura (1-1-0) will collide in a featherweight matchup. The American-born Anderson, who now lives and trains in South Korea, began her pro career in December by dominating MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita at Jewels: “22nd Ring.” The fighters faced off for a second time in an April rematch and Anderson once again prevailed, this time via first-round technical submission. The powerful wrestler now takes on a skilled grappler in Nakakura, who was originally scheduled to face Invicta FC competitor Fiona Muxlow in an ADCC grappling match in March before Muxlow was called to make her Invicta FC debut.
Jewels: “24th Ring” takes place on May 25th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.
Jewels: “24th Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
– Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama vs Seo Hee Ham [Jewels Featherweight Queen Championship - 3x5]
– “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi vs Seo Ye Jung [52kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
– Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Takumi Umehara [53kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
– Jade Marie Anderson vs Yurika Nakakura [65kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
– Emi Tomimatsu vs Masako Yoshida [52kg Grappling Rules - 2x4]
– Yukiko Seki vs Madoka Ebihara [50kg Grappling Rules - 2x4]
– Satomi Takano vs Kaoru Chatani [48kg Kickboxing Rules - 3x2]
– Madoka Ebihara vs Aya Abe [50kg BJJ Rules - 1x5]
– Ayaka Miura vs Harumi Todate [50kg BJJ Rules - 1x5]
– Yukiko Seki vs Aya Abe [50kg BJJ Rules - 1x5]
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)