Saori Ishioka Faces Mika Nagano In Deep Jewels 3 ExhibitionFormer Jewels postergirl Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka returns to the ring for a special appearance at Deep Jewels 3 on February 16th in Tokyo, Japan. The popular karateka is scheduled to face off against ex-Jewels rival Mika “Future Princess” Nagano in Nagano’s retirement exhibition match.

Deep Jewels officials announced plans for the exhibition bout today. Ishioka has taken an extended hiatus from competition in order to focus on family life and last fought in March 2012 when she submitted “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba. She defeated Nagano on the inaugural Jewels card in late 2008.

Ishioka (12-7-0) takes part in her second straight retirement bout when she faces Nagano (14-9-0) next month. At Pancrase Progress Tour 3, Ishioka submitted Sunaba with an armbar in Sunaba’s final fight. While that bout was not an exhibition, Ishioka’s Deep Jewels 3 rematch against Nagano will be a light-hearted matchup with no official winner. Rules for the exhibition have not yet been announced.

Nagano confirmed plans for her retirement this past month and she leaves the sport as one of the top female stars in Japan. The fan favourite wrestler won six of seven fights to earn a spot in the inaugural Deep Jewels lightweight title tournament in November, but she lost a convincing Unanimous Decision in a rematch with grappling specialist Emi Tomimatsu. With her championship hopes dashed once again, Nagano opted to step away from MMA in order to begin a new chapter in her life.

The 114-pound lightweight title tournament concludes on the Deep Jewels 3 card when teen prodigy Mizuki Inoue faces Tomimatsu in the championship final. The winner will be crowned as the first Deep Jewels Lightweight Champion.

Deep Jewels 3 takes place on February 16th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.


Deep Jewels 3 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Mizuki Inoue vs Emi Tomimatsu [52kg Deep Jewels Lightweight Championship – 3×5]
– Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka [Retirement Exhibition Match – TBD]
– Shizuka Sugiyama vs Mizuho Sato [Open-Weight Deep Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5]
– Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama vs Satomi “Sarami” Takano [48kg Deep Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5]
– Masako Yoshida vs Miyoko Kusaka [48kg Deep Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5]
– Yuko “Amiba” Oya vs Mamiko Mizoguchi [50kg Deep Jewels Official MMA Rules – 2×5]
– Sachiko Fujimori vs Shiori Hori [53kg Deep Jewels Newcomer MMA Rules – 2×5]



(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)