Inoue vs Fujino, Nagano vs Tomimatsu Set For Deep Jewels 2The semi-finals of the inaugural Deep Jewels lightweight title tournament are set for Deep Jewels 2 on November 4th in Tokyo, Japan. During a public drawing today, it was determined that Mizuki Inoue will face Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino and Mika “Future Princess” Nagano battles Emi Tomimatsu.

Both semi-final bouts are rematches from past fights. Teen sensation Inoue announced her presence in the combat sports world at age 15 in July 2010 when she upset Fujino in a kickboxing match. Nagano narrowly defeated Tomimatsu when the pair first faced off at Jewels: “23rd Ring” in March.

Inoue (6-1-0) made her MMA debut after defeating Fujino and picked up back-to-back submission wins to become the 2010 Jewels Rough Stone Grand Prix Champion at 56 kilograms. She dropped a close decision to then-Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki in September 2011, but rebounded with three more submission victories and also captured the Shoot Boxing 53.5kg Girls S-Cup title this past year.

In July, Inoue made her North American debut when she faced Australian standout Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt at Invicta FC 6. Inoue impressed many by defeating the popular Hyatt and she became a two-time Girls S-Cup winner in August. During today’s public drawing, Inoue drew the number one, and she chose to compete in the first semi-final bout and fight out of the red corner.

“I had a fight against Fujino in kickboxing,” Inoue said following the drawing. “I’m not sure how it will go in MMA, but I will do my best. I welcome [fights with] anyone on the other side of the bracket because I have not fought them yet. I did not want to choose my opponent, so I’m glad I drew first. I think that Fujino will come to strike and I won’t lose to her in striking. She has power and it’s hard to escape her grip. I need to avoid getting hit hard and I’ll use my defensive techniques for that.”


Fujino (13-6-0) has been a top contender in Japan for many years, but major titles have thus far eluded the 32-year-old. After opening her career with eight straight wins, including a victory over former Valkyrie champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi, Fujino encountered a rough patch and suffered defeats in each of her next four fights against some of the top fighters in Japan.

Fujino has won five of seven fights since then, with the lone defeats coming against Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii and Ayaka Hamasaki. She holds notable recent wins over fellow tournament participant Nagano and atomweight prospect Amber “The Bully” Brown. Fujino drew number four during tonight’s ceremony, which meant she was forced to compete in the first semi-final out of the blue corner.

“I had a feeling that I would fight Mizuki and my bad expectation came true,” Fujino said. “I will do my best because winning the belt is my goal and this is my last chance. I think that Mizuki is a top talent. Technique wise, she is better, but I have more experience. I want to fight abroad, but first I need to do what I can in Japan.”

Deep Jewels 2 Lightweight Tournament Participants
Emi Fujino, Mizuki Inoue, Emi Tomimatsu and Mika Nagano (Photo Credit: eFight)


Nagano (14-8-0) remains one of the most popular female fighters in Japan today, but like Fujino, she has yet to capture a major MMA title. The talented wrestler has submitted 11 of her opponents to date and she has posted wins in six of her past seven fights. Along the way, Nagano eked out a close decision win over Tomimatsu earlier this year. In tonight’s drawing, Nagano picked the number two and she chose to fight out of the red corner in the second semi-final.

“I don’t think too much of the draw,” Nagano said. “I don’t want [Tomimatsu] to get revenge. I did not want to choose my opponent, so I did not go on Mizuki’s side [of the bracket]. I look forward to facing anyone on the other side.”


Tomimatsu (5-7-0) may be the underdog in the tournament, but the grappling specialist has shown significant improvement in her overall MMA game during recent fights. After returning to MMA in 2011, Tomimatsu won three straight fights for Jewels. She has dropped three in a row since then, but each defeat came via a competitive decision against formidable opposition. Tomimatsu drew number three during tonight’s ceremony and opted to fight out of the blue corner in the second semi-final.

“I struggled to choose between Mizuki, whom I haven’t fought yet, and Nagano,” Tomimatsu explained after her pick. “I want to get revenge [against Nagano]. I’m friends with Fujino, but I want to fight her, and I also want to fight Mizuki who is the best young talent. Jewels gave me a chance to compete for their belt and I don’t feel that I lost decisively against Nagano the last time. It was close.”


The semi-final bouts will both be contested over two five-minute rounds and the winners will advance on to the tournament final at a later date, which will be contested over three five-minute rounds. The winner of that fight will become the new Deep Jewels Lightweight Champion at 114 pounds.

Deep Jewels 2 takes place on November 4th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan. The event features a Deep Jewels Featherweight Championship bout between Seo Hee Ham and Sadae “Manhoef” Numata.