Jewels Featherweight Queen Semi-Final Matchups SetThe semi-final matchups in the inaugural Jewels Featherweight Queen tournament are now set. A drawing held following tonight’s Jewels: “16th Ring” event in Tokyo, Japan determined the second-round pairings for the tournament, which concludes at Jewels: “17th Ring” on December 17th.

In semi-final one, unbeaten rising star Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama faces 2010 Jewels 48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Champion Kikuyo Ishikawa. Veterans Misaki Takimoto and Yukiko Seki square off in semi-final two. The tournament will determine the first Jewels Featherweight Queen Champion.

Sugiyama (5-0-0) earned her spot in the next round of the tournament with a razor-thin but Unanimous Decision victory over Ayumi “Edge” Saito tonight. Despite losing the striking battles, Sugiyama was able to rally late in the fight with submission attempts and positional dominance on the ground that proved to be enough to take the narrow win. She has won back-to-back fights in Jewels since upsetting Valkyrie Flyweight Champion Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada in a non-title bout last year.

Ishikawa (6-2-0) earned what was perhaps the most impressive victory of any tournament participant tonight, as she walked away with a well-earned Unanimous Decision over the aforementioned Tamada. Despite entering as a heavy underdog, Ishikawa was able to outstrike her more experienced foe and avoided Tamada’s attempts to clinch to take the fight to the mat. Ishikawa has now won four straight fights and captured last year’s prospect-driven Rough Stone Grand Prix title at 48 kilograms.


Takimoto (14-12-4) had little trouble in winning her way to the semi-finals tonight, as she dominated Miyoko Kusaka throughout much of their two-round battle en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Takimoto was able to control the fight on the feet and, save for an occasional takedown from Kusaka, left little doubt in the eyes of the judges. Takimoto scored a knockdown early in round two, which sealed the deal and paved her way into the next round of the tournament.

Seki (10-20-0), despite sporting a lacklustre record overall, has enjoyed a career resurgence during the past 14 months and she has won five of her last six fights. Her lone defeat during that time came in a contentious Split Decision with Ishikawa in last year’s 48kg Rough Stone finals. Tonight, Seki picked up another upset victory by defeating Sachiko “Sachi” Yamamoto on the strength of effective strikes on the feet and on the ground and she will carry momentum into the next round.

Full play-by-play for all fights on the Jewels: “16th Ring” card is available here.


The Jewels Featherweight Queen tournament concludes at Jewels: “17th Ring” on December 17th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan. The tournament winner must compete and win twice in one night in order to be crowned the first Jewels Featherweight Queen Champion at 48 kilograms (106 pounds).