Four More Fights Added To Jewels: "Twelfth Ring" CardFour more fights have been added to the upcoming Jewels: “Twelfth Ring” card on March 11th in Tokyo, Japan. The main event will feature a non-title matchup between Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki and recent Bellator 115-pound tournament participant Lisa Ward.

An opponent was also announced for Jewels postergirl Shizuka Sugiyama, who will be in action for the final time before taking one year off to study in Australia. Sugiyama will face veteran journeywoman Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki. Former Jewels mainstay Rina Tomita will also compete on the card.

Hamasaki (4-0-0) made her professional mixed martial arts debut in late 2009 and earned a submission win over Kinuka Sasaki in Shooto. After nine months away, she returned to the sport and made short work of Han Sol Lee at Jewels: “Ninth Ring” last July. The victory propelled Hamasaki into the second round of the inaugural Jewels Lightweight Queen tournament, which concluded on December 17th. There, Hamasaki picked up impressive wins over previously unbeaten Club Barbarian prospect Sakura Nomura and South Korean kickboxing standout Seo Hee Ham to become the first Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion at 115 pounds.

Ward (14-6-0) began her professional career with a modest 2-2 record before earning seven straight wins, including victories over rising star Jessica “Jag” Aguilar and former DEEP Women’s Lightweight Champion Miku “Supernova” Matsumoto. The string of wins came to an end at the hands of Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii in 2007, but Ward’s 2010 campaign in Bellator Fighting Championships reaffirmed that she is still one of the top female fighters in the world. Ward dispatched of Stephanie “Macaquinha” Frausto and the previously undefeated Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly before falling to Fujii a second time. She will now return to Japan for the first time since June 2009.

While Hamasaki’s title will not be on the line at “Twelfth Ring,” has confirmed that a championship rematch will be made if Ward is able to defeat Hamasaki on March 11th. The March fight will be contested using Jewels Special Rules, which permit ground and pound.


Sugiyama (6-3-0) was touted as one of the top fighters in Jewels after winning her first five professional fights. The American-born karate expert entered the 2009 60kg Rough Stone Grand Prix, but lost to Germany’s Alexandra Sanchez. After rebounding with a win at Jewels: “Sixth Ring,” Sugiyama was defeated by tough veteran Miki Morifuji last March. She later battled through injuries and did not return to competition until December, where she was stopped by Mongolian wrestler Bolormaa Erdenebileg – better known by her ring name of “Esui” – early in the second round.

Aoki (5-8-0) earned her biggest win to date last July when she submitted Erdenebileg with an armbar in the first round. Prior to that, Aoki had come up short in each of her tougher matchups and she was not able to follow up on the July victory. She returned to Valkyrie for two bouts last year, but suffered losses to Rin Nakai and Ayame “Iris” Miura. Aoki will enter the fight with Sugiyama as an underdog, but an upset victory is not out of the question.

Win or lose, it will be Sugiyama’s last fight for Jewels for at least a year.


In other bouts announced for the card, Erdenebileg (1-1-0) will face Danielle “The Curse” West (3-1-0) of Fuzion MMA in London, England, while Abe Ani Combat Club’s Rina Tomita (3-5-0) returns to Jewels to face Sadae “Manhoef” Suzumura (0-0-1), who will compete for the first time since October 2009.

“I am training very hard for this fight. It has been my dream to fight in Japan since I started training MMA 8 years ago,” West says of her Jewels debut. “I know that Esui is the first woman wrestler in Mongolia which I found very inspiring. I have a lot of respect for her and since she won her last fight with strikes, I expect her to be very well rounded. I think this will be a very exciting fight. I am honoured to be fighting in Japan.”

Jewels: “Twelfth Ring” takes place on March 11th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.


Jewels: “Twelfth Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Ayaka Hamasaki vs Lisa Ward [52kg Non-Title Bout; Special Rules]
– Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Emi Murata [54kg Bout]
– Shizuka Sugiyama vs Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki [62kg Bout]
– Bolormaa “Esui” Erdenebileg vs Danielle “The Curse” West [65kg Bout]
– Rina Tomita vs Sadae “Manhoef” Suzumura [52kg Bout]
– Miyoko Kusaka vs Yuka Okumura [50kg Bout]



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