Hiroko Yamanaka Now To Face Molly Helsel At Jewels: "Eleventh Ring"Despite a last-minute opponent change, Jewels star Hiroko Yamanaka will still compete on the upcoming Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” card on December 17th. Yamanaka will face tough veteran Molly “The Maulinator” Helsel, who will move up in weight to face the much larger Yamanaka at 143 pounds.

Yamanaka had been scheduled to face Olympic medallist Randi Miller, but Miller withdrew from the fight for the second time this year. Helsel is coming off of a decision loss to Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly in late November and will give up a significant height and reach advantage to Yamanaka.

Yamanaka (10-1-0) stands 5’11” tall and has competed at weights above 160 in the past. She will hold a tremendous size advantage over the 5’4″ Helsel (8-11-1), whose November 27th bout with Daly was contested at 125 pounds. Helsel now enters the bout on less than one week’s notice and has a tough fight ahead of her. However, Helsel’s aggressive striking style poses an interesting test for Yamanaka, whose standup skills remain relatively untested.

Yamanaka had stated intentions to keep her fight with Miller standing, but that strategy could backfire against Helsel. All eight of Helsel’s wins have come by stoppage.


Also announced for “Eleventh Ring” was a second grappling match pitting popular jiu-jitsu standout Emi Tomimatsu against Jewels newcomer Akemi Ogawa at 54kg. The match joins a previously announced 55kg grappling match between the highly-touted Ricaco Yuasa and Mayumi Katouno.


Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” takes place on December 17th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The event features the finals of the 2010 48kg, 52kg and 56kg Rough Stone Grand Prixs and will also crown the first Jewels Lightweight (115-Pound) Queen Champion.

MMARising.com will be live on-site in Tokyo for the event.


Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” Fight Card (subject to change):

– Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka vs Yuko “Amiba” Oya (Jewels Lightweight Queen Reserve Bout)
– Seo Hee Ham vs Mika “Future Princess” Nagano (Jewels Lightweight Queen Semi-Final)
– Ayaka Hamasaki vs Sakura Nomura (Jewels Lightweight Queen Semi-Final)
– Winner of Ham/Nagano vs Winner of Hamasaki/Nomura (Jewels Lightweight Queen Final)

– Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Yukiko Seki (48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)
– Hiroko Kitamura vs Mai Ichii (52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)
– Mizuki Inoue vs Asako Saioka (56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Final)

– Miki Morifuji vs Kinuka Sasaki (Morifuji’s Retirement Match [57kg])
– Shizuka Sugiyama vs Esui (59kg Bout)
– Hiroko Yamanaka vs Molly Helsel (65kg Bout)
– Miyoko Kusaka vs Asami Higa (50kg Bout)
– Emi Murata vs Anna Saito (55kg Bout)

– Ricaco Yuasa vs Mayumi Katouno (55kg Grappling Match)
– Emi Tomimatsu vs Akemi Ogawa (54kg Grappling Match)



(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)