Fights Set For June 6th Shootboxing CardA trio of women’s bouts will be featured at this Sunday’s shootboxing event at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Among those participating on the card will be 2009 Girls S-Cup Champion RENA, as the 18-year-old sensation takes on ☆MIKA☆ in her first fight back after an April hand injury.

Elsewhere, former DEEP Women’s Lightweight (106-Pound) Champion Hisae Watanabe will return to shootboxing action after a victory in April when she takes on top-ranked J-Girls contender Sumie Yamada, while Valkyrie champ Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi faces Ikue Tanimura.

RENA and Watanabe had originally been scheduled to face each other in mid-April, but RENA was forced to withdraw after suffering a broken finger shortly before the fight. Watanabe went on to stop karate champion Megumi Igawa and it was initially believed that she would square off with RENA on this Sunday’s card. However, that fight will have to wait and the fighters will instead compete in separate matches this weekend.

Last August, RENA captured the 2009 Girls S-Cup Championship with wins over veteran Masako Yoshida, current Jewels star Saori Ishioka and the aforementioned Yamaguchi. She immediately emerged as a breakout star, both for her looks and for her skills inside the ring. A rematch with Yamaguchi down the line is a possibility, but the Valkyrie champ will first have to get past Tanimura, another J-Girls representative.

For Watanabe, she faces a tough test in her fight with Yamada, as the J-Girls ace will look to make a big statement at the hard-hitting Watanabe’s expense. The two faced each other once before, in a November 2002 MMA fight in Smackgirl, with Watanabe emerging victorious via first-round knockout. Yamada will have a chance to avenge the loss on Sunday.

Watanabe has expressed a strong desire to compete in this year’s Women’s S-Cup Tournament and has begun putting on weight in order to compete at 50kg (110 pounds). A loss for Watanabe could hinder the former kickboxer and MMA standout’s progress in her newfound home of shootboxing. She holds 11 MMA wins by knockout and is one of the hardest-hitting female fighters in Japan.

Sunday’s card also features the semi-final and final of the men’s Young Caesars Tournament, and Hiroki Shishido meets Virgil Kalakoda in the main event.


Fight Card (subject to change):

– Hiroki Shishido vs Virgil Kalakoda (Main Event)
– Hiroaki Suzuki vs Tenkei Fujimiya
– Kenji Kanai vs Satoru Suzuki
– Takeshi Ishikawa vs Taylor “Ninja” McCorriston
– Yuji Sugahara vs Ben Henry
– RENA vs ☆MIKA☆
– Hisae Watanabe vs Sumie Yamada
– Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi vs Ikue Tanimura


Young Caesars Tournament:

– Kazuyuki Fushimi vs Genki (Semi-Final Bout)
– Ryuya Sakabe vs Masanori Ito (Semi-Final Bout)

– Winner of Fushimi/Genki vs Winner of Sakabe/Ito (Tournament Final)