Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Miyoko Kusaka Rematch Booked For April 21Jewels contenders Kikuyo Ishikawa and Miyoko Kusaka are set to face off in a rematch at Pancrase: “Sakaguchi Dojo vs Pancrase” on April 21st in Okinawa, Japan. Pancrase officials announced plans for the atomweight matchup today. Ishikawa and Kusaka initially fought three years ago.

Kusaka prevailed in the pair’s first meeting, but Ishikawa has won six of her seven fights since then and is one of the fastest rising female prospects in Japan. Ishikawa won both of her fights in 2012. Kusaka looks to rebound from a loss in December by defeating the Okinawan for a second time.

Ishikawa (8-3-0), Okinawa’s first female mixed martial artist, began her MMA career on the inaugural Jewels card in November 2008. She earned quick submission wins in each of her first two fights before dropping a pair of decisions to Asami Kodera and Kusaka. The loss to Kusaka prompted Ishikawa to make the move from Okinawa to Yokohama to train with the Ground Slam division of the Reversal Gym. The change in gyms paid dividends and Ishikawa went on to win the 2010 Jewels 48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix. Since then, she has won four of her five fights and her lone defeat came via a close Split Decision against Jewels Featherweight Queen Champion Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama.

Kusaka (3-5-1) won two of her three amateur bouts under the Jewels banner and made her pro debut in late 2009. She alternated between wins and losses in her first six pro bouts, but totalled a notable win over Ishikawa along the way. Kusaka was unable to carry the momentum from the Ishikawa victory into the 2010 Rough Stone GP and she was defeated in the opening round of the tournament by veteran Yukiko Seki. In her lone bout of 2012, Kusaka dropped a Unanimous Decision to Norway’s Celine Haga at Jewels: “22nd Ring” in December. The Grabaka fighter now makes her Pancrase debut in search of her second victory over the highly-touted Ishikawa.

Pancrase: “Sakaguchi Dojo vs Pancrase” takes place on April 21st at Okinawa City Gymnasium in Okinawa City, Okinawa, Japan. The event will be a co-promotion between Pancrase and Sakaguchi Dojo leader Yukio Sakaguchi.



(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)