Rin Nakai vs Kyoko Kimura Added To Pancrase Progress Tour 6Final Valkyrie Open-Weight Champion Rin Nakai will return to action on May 20th when she faces pro wrestling veteran Kyoko Kimura at Pancrase Progress Tour 6 in Okinawa, Japan. Nakai steps back into the ring for the first time since September for the fight, which was announced earlier today.

Nakai had taken a self-imposed hiatus from competition after she received criticism following a contentious Draw with England’s Danielle “The Curse” West in her most recent bout. The unbeaten powerhouse now makes her fourth appearance for Pancrase and looks to hand Kimura her first defeat.

Nakai (10-0-1) began her career at 125 pounds before opting to move up in weight in 2010 for the upstart Valkyrie promotion. She went on to win all four of her fights inside the Valkyrie cage and captured the promotion’s open-weight title at its final show in November 2010. She fought once more before the end of the year and secured a quick submission victory over journeywoman Mika “Hari” Harigai at SRC: “Soul of Fight.” When Valkyrie folded, Nakai looked to Pancrase for new fight opportunities and she engaged in a highly competitive bout with West in September. Some observers felt that West had done enough to upset the Japanese standout, but the bout was ruled a Split Draw by the ringside judges. Now refocused, Nakai looks to begin another winning streak in May.

Kimura (2-0-1) debuted in MMA in November and she has already become a mainstay on Pancrase cards. Following a first-round stoppage of veteran Megumi Yabushita, the pro wrestling “deathmatch queen” returned to Pancrase in January. Her sophomore effort was less successful, however, and Kimura was forced to settle for an uninspiring Unanimous Draw after two rounds. She returned to her winning ways this past weekend with a quick TKO win over South Korea’s Sung Eun Kim and will now take on her toughest test to date against Nakai, who will bring a significant experience edge into the showdown in Okinawa.

Pancrase Progress Tour 6 is set for May 20th at Music Town Oto-Ichiba in Koza, Okinawa, Japan. The event also features a second women’s bout between Okinawa’s first female mixed martial artist, Kikuyo Ishikawa, and 16-year-old Shino VanHoose.



(Photo Credit: Valkyrie)

  1. I am glad Ms. Nakai is returning. Yes, she may have been a bit overly sensitive to the criticism that comes with the territory as a public figure/athlete but she can turn into a huge star world wide if the cards are right(ok being easy on the eyes helps too). At barely 5’1″she should not try to move up again in weight. Kyoko is older but boy say what you wish about the Ă«ntertainment sport of wrestling, I viewed some vids of her….she can dish out and take a substantial beating…I would not overlook this wildwoman at all.