Rin Nakai Draws With Danielle West In Pancrase ReturnRin Nakai narrowly kept her unbeaten record intact today in Tokyo, Japan. The first and only Valkyrie open-weight champ battled England’s Danielle “The Curse” West to a Split Draw at Pancrase Impressive Tour 9 in a highly competitive bout that West surprisingly dominated in the later stages.

The event’s undercard featured a second women’s bout, which also ended without a victor. Veterans Naoko Omuro and Kayo Nagayasu fought to a Majority Draw after two rounds in a bout that saw both women land effective strikes. Omuro held a slight advantage in round two, but it was not enough.


Nakai (10-0-1) and West (3-2-1) traded punches early on and West dropped her opponent with a big right hook. She followed up with more punches, but Nakai recovered and got to her feet. Nakai scored with a combination and took West down, then tried for an armbar. West managed to free herself and attempted a kneebar. Nakai got out and tried for a series of armbars. West defended with hammerfists and the fighters were stood up. Punches were exchanged and West stuffed a takedown. She landed knees to the body, but Nakai got her down before the bell.

West scored at will with punches in round two, as Nakai displayed very little head movement and was hit by nearly every strike. Nakai tried for takedowns and eventually got West down to the mat. Nakai tried to move to mount, but had to settle for a keylock attempt from side control. West defended with a leg-scissor choke and Nakai escaped to mount. She landed punches, but West scrambled out and scored with a flurry of her own. Nakai took West down and worked for a keylock and an armbar before the end of the close round.

Round three began with more punches from West, who continued to dominate the striking exchanges. Nakai tried for takedowns, but ate some hard punches for her efforts. She eventually took West down and attempted another keylock, but West spun out and dropped big punches from the top. She threw more punches to the head and body until Nakai postured for an armbar. West scrambled, but Nakai wound up on top. The exhausted fighters were stood up and West landed a solid combination. She stuffed a takedown and used a guillotine choke to take top position on the ground. West punched until the final bell, as Nakai’s husband shouted from her corner.

After three competitive rounds, the judges were split in their verdict. One scored the fight in favour of Nakai, while a second scored it for West. The third judge ruled the bout even for a Split Draw. The result must be considered an upset, of sorts, as Nakai entered the bout as a heavy favourite.

Result: Split Draw (29-28 [Nakai], 29-28 [West], 29-29) after three rounds. Nakai moves to 10-0-1, while West is now 3-2-1.


Earlier on the card, Omuro (11-8-4) and Nagayasu (7-6-3) engaged in a spirited, two-round bout. Omuro landed punches early on, but Nagayasu took her down against the ropes. Omuro stood and the fighters were separated. Nagayasu continued to hunt for takedowns as Omuro countered with punches in close. The fighters traded knees and Omuro tried for a takedown of her own. Nagayasu reversed and landed punches, but Omuro scored with knees late in the round.

Nagayasu opened round two with jabs and a nice knee that forced Omuro to backpedal. Nagayasu threw a body kick and the fighters battled for position in a clinch. Neither could secure a takedown and they eventually broke apart. On the feet, both fighters landed punches, but Omuro was more effective and put together quick combinations. Nagayasu backed her up and threw knees to the thighs until the referee separated the fighters. Omuro landed more punches late in the fight, but Nagayasu fired back with body kicks. Both landed knees in the final seconds.

While Omuro looked to be taking over in round two, her strikes were only enough to take the fight on one judge’s scorecard. The remaining two ruled the bout even for a Majority Draw.

Result: Majority Draw (20-19 [Omuro], 20-20, 20-20) after two rounds. Omuro moves to 11-8-4, while Nagayasu is now 7-6-3.



(Photo Credit: Valkyrie)

  1. Wow, can’t wait for some footage.

  2. Can’t believe that people were asking for a Nakai vs Cyborg fight. It would have made the Jan Finney massacre look competitive.

  3. Danielle posted a video of the entire fight on her Facebook page. It’s a pretty good fight and very close, so the Draw seems to be a fitting result.