Roxanne Modafferi vs Takayo Hashi Set For Jewels: 18th RingThree new fights have been confirmed for Jewels: “18th Ring” on March 3rd in Tokyo, Japan. Former Strikeforce title challengers Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi and Takayo Hashi will face off in a featured matchup on the all-female card. Both fighters look to rebound from recent setbacks.

Also announced for the card today was a bout between grappling specialists Yuko “Amiba” Oya and Emi Tomimatsu. Unbeaten Valkyrie veteran Ayame “Iris” Miura will make her Jewels debut against Norway’s Celine Haga. Miura earned four wins for Valkyrie before the promotion’s collapse in 2010.

Modafferi (15-9-0) and Hashi (13-4-0) both made bids for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship in 2010. Hashi dropped a lacklustre five-round decision to Sarah Kaufman for the vacant title in February. Modafferi, despite having success in early rounds, was knocked out by a Kaufman powerbomb in the Canadian’s first title defence five months later. Since that time, both fighters have struggled in bouts outside of Strikeforce.

Following their defeats to Kaufman, both Modafferi and Hashi moved down to 125 pounds. Modafferi engaged in competitive decisions with Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton and Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano, the latter at 135 pounds, but came up short on the judges’ scorecards. In her most recent fight, she was submitted by rising star Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak. Hashi went on to challenge pound-for-pound standout Tara LaRosa and unbeaten prospect Cat “Alpha” Zingano after her release from Strikeforce, but suffered losses in both fights.

With both fighters in must-win situations, the bout between Modafferi and Hashi could potentially prove to be the most important fight on the “18th Ring” card.

“Even though we were formerly training partners at Wajutsu Keishukai for four years, I’ve always wanted to see how I would fare against Hashi,” Modafferi told this week. “I’m so excited to finally have this opportunity.”


Oya (6-2-0) remains on the cusp of contendership in Jewels, where she has won four of her past five fights. Known for her colourful ring attire, Oya has become a mainstay in Jewels and she is one of the stronger grapplers in the promotion’s 52kg lightweight division. At Jewels: “11th Ring” in late 2010, Oya faced her toughest test to date in Jewels star Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka, and while Oya suffered her lone submission loss in the fight, she rebounded with a decision victory this past September.

Tomimatsu (4-4-0) has encountered ups and downs during her MMA career, but while Oya is a strong grappler in the division, Tomimatsu is one of the best. The Paraestra Matsudo product returned from a lengthy hiatus from MMA this past September and scored back-to-back victories over Celine Haga and Rina Tomita in her first two fights for Jewels. Tomimatsu could continue her rise back up the ranks and potentially secure a bout against a top contender if she is able to get past Oya in March.


Miura (4-0-0) may have to battle ring rust in her fight with Haga (1-10-0), but she will enter the bout as a significant favourite and with both a size and strength advantage. The former Valkyrie prospect has not fought since a Unanimous Decision victory over veteran mixed martial artist and kickboxer Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki at Valkyrie’s final show. Haga has been competitive in many of her recent fights, but she is currently embroiled in a six-fight losing streak dating back to her lone victory in May 2010. She looks to spoil Miura’s Jewels debut in March.

Jewels: “18th Ring” takes place on March 3rd at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan.



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