Yukari Yamaguchi Turns Pro, Faces Megumi Igawa On June 22Three days after she celebrates her 16th birthday, highly-touted prospect Yukari Yamaguchi will make her professional kickboxing debut at J-Girls: “The Shining Wild Angels 2nd” on June 22nd in Tokyo, Japan. Yamaguchi faces veteran Megumi Igawa in a 105-pound mini flyweight bout on the card.

Yamaguchi, the younger training partner of Deep Jewels and Invicta FC star Mizuki Inoue, has torn through the competition in the amateur ranks and she brings an eight-fight winning streak into her pro debut. Igawa put an end to a tough losing skid by winning her most recent kickboxing match in February.

Yamaguchi (12-2-0 KB/SB) began training in karate at age five and she has since built up a wealth of experience in both kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. In her lone MMA bout to date, Yamaguchi destroyed Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa at Jewels: “17th Ring” in late 2011. She made two more appearances for Jewels and won a one-day BJJ tournament for the promotion in March 2013. Yamaguchi is expected to return to MMA, but she remains focused for now on developing her striking and grappling skills separately.

While Yamaguchi’s teammate, Inoue, has received worldwide recognition for her formidable abilities, some observers in Japan feel that Yamaguchi is even more talented than her Hakushinkai Karate ally. Yamaguchi’s speed is matched by very few and she has already vanquished many tough opponents on the grappling mat and in the kickboxing ring. She looks to begin her professional fighting career with another impressive performance for J-Girls next month.

Igawa (5-7-3 KB/SB) has stepped into the ring with some of Japan’s top strikers including former Deep Women’s Lightweight Champion Hisae Watanabe and 17-year-old ACCEL Vassilis champion Chihiro Imoto. The four-year veteran has encountered ups and downs during her career, but she enters the fight against Yamaguchi on the heels of a win earlier this year. On February 23rd, Igawa earned a Majority Decision victory over Ayaka Yuyama, who has taken Yamaguchi the distance on two occasions.

J-Girls: “The Shining Wild Angels 2nd” takes place on June 22nd at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.



(Photo Credit: J-Girls)