Rena Kubota, Yukari Yamaguchi Win 2014 Shoot Boxing Girls S-CupsShoot Boxing superstar Rena Kubota outlasted three opponents to win her fourth Girls S-Cup title tonight at Yamano Hall in the Yoyogi district of Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Kubota knocked out Thicha Rongrien Kila Korat in the world tournament final to win the 2014 50kg Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup.

Also tonight, 16-year-old prodigy Yukari Yamaguchi captured her first major title by winning the 2014 48kg Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup. Yamaguchi, who is arguably Japan’s top female prospect, defeated two-time Shoot Boxing JKS48 Champion Mio Tsumura to win the prestigious tournament.


Kubota (28-5-1 SB/KB) showed no signs of fatigue from her first two fights of the evening when she stepped into the ring to face Thicha (53-15-0 SB/KB) in tonight’s main event final. Thicha knocked Kubota down with a front kick shortly after the opening bell, but from that point forward Kubota dominated the one-sided championship fight.

After rising back up to her feet, Kubota scored with a hard right hand that set up a seoi nage throw. Kubota earned a Shoot Point in the process and she dropped Thicha with a flurry of punches before the end of the round. In round two, Kubota broke free from a clinch and landed body kicks. She followed with a vicious left hook that left Thicha unconscious at the 1:15 mark of round two.

Kubota’s impressive knockout victory earned her an unprecedented fourth Girls S-Cup championship. The highly popular Kubota remains one of the biggest stars on the shoot boxing roster and she has now won 12 straight fights. Thicha, an experienced Muay Thai fighter who was making her shoot boxing debut on the card, put forth an excellent showing in tonight’s tournament before falling in the finals.


Yamaguchi (3-0-0 SB/KB), the younger training partner of MMA star and two-time Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5kg Champion Mizuki Inoue, solidified her spot as her country’s fastest rising star with two big victories tonight. In the 48kg tournament final, Yamaguchi battled back and forth with Tsumura (13-2-0 SB) for five rounds before ultimately emerging with her hand raised.

Yamaguchi countered Tsumura’s punching combinations with stiff jabs throughout the championship fight. Tsumura attempted seoi nage throws as the bout progressed, but Yamaguchi defended well on each occasion and she kept Tsumura at bay with jabs and straight punches. After three rounds, the judges returned scores of 30-29 Yamaguchi, 29-28 Tsumura and 29-29 for a Split Draw.

In the first extension round, Tsumura opened the action with left and right hooks while the southpaw Yamaguchi countered with left crosses. Tsumura tried for another throw and landed a series of left hooks. Yamaguchi finished the round with jabs and a front kick, and the bout went to the scorecards again. The judges were once again unable to determine a winner, as one scored the round 10-9 for Tsumura and the remaining two both had it even at 10-10.

Heading into the fifth and final round, Tsumura mixed things up with body kicks. Yamaguchi countered nicely with jab-cross combos and her superior speed allowed her to dart in and out with quick strikes before Tsumura could retaliate. Yamaguchi fought off a throw attempt and she landed more punching flurries before the end of the fight. One judge strangely scored the final round 10-9 for Tsumura, but the two remaining judges correctly scored it 10-9 for Yamaguchi, who took the Split Decision win.

Yamaguchi’s striking skills are surpassed only by her remarkable ground game, which she has used to win numerous grappling tournaments. The 16-year-old could be poised to become a bright new star for Shoot Boxing in the coming years. Tsumura, whose streak of 48kg tournament titles was snapped tonight, tasted defeat for only the second time in her career.


Former Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi (21-5-0 SB/KB) made short work of Thai standout Nong Em Tor. Vitaya (26-6-3) in a featured non-tournament bout on tonight’s card. Takahashi used her superior boxing skills to keep Nong Em on the defensive in round one. Early in the second stanza, Takahashi flurried with punches before flooring Nong Em with a devastating knee for an emphatic knockout victory at 0:38 of round two.


Earlier in the night, Kubota punched her ticket to the 50kg tournament final with a Unanimous Decision victory over Australian kickboxing champion Christina Jurjevic (27-6-0 SB/KB). The fighters traded punches and knees throughout the three-round bout, but Kubota landed the more precise strikes and she dropped Jurjevic with a combination late in round three. Scores were 30-28 and 30-27 twice for Kubota, who advanced on to the championship final.

The second 50kg semi-final saw Thicha take a competitive Majority Decision victory over South Korean striker Jiwaen Lee (17-2-0 SB/KB). Thicha countered Lee’s aggression with body kicks and left hands in all three rounds. Late in round three, she landed front kicks and body kicks that halted Lee’s forward momentum. One judge scored the bout even at 29-29, but the remaining two sided with Thicha with scores of 30-28 and 29-28, respectively.


In 48kg semi-final action, Yamaguchi narrowly outpointed namesake “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi (8-6-0 SB), a two-time Girls S-Cup finalist and former Valkyrie MMA champion. Yukari landed jabs and knees in each round and she fought off Mei’s numerous throw attempts. Mei kept the fight close, but she was never able to secure the throw that she so desperately wanted and the bout went to the scorecards. One judge ruled the fight even at 29-29, but the remaining two both had it 30-29 for Yukari, who advanced on to the final with the Majority Decision win.

The second 48kg semi-final saw Tsumura avenge what was then the lone defeat of her career by outpointing reigning J-Girls Mini Flyweight Champion Momi (20-10-6 SB/KB) in a rematch from this past year. Both women has success with strikes in the many exchanges, but Tsumura’s pursuit of the throw paid off in round two when she used a harai goshi to earn a crucial Shoot Point. She was unable to land another throw, but one proved to be enough. Scores were 30-28 and 29-28 twice for Tsumura, who picked up a Unanimous Decision victory.


In a 50kg quarterfinal, Lee eked out a razor-thin Split Decision victory over Dutch standout Lorena “Lady Pitbull” Klijn (20-6-0 SB/KB) after an extension round. Lee’s crisp punches in the fourth round were enough to earn her a pair of 10-9 scorecards, while a third judge saw the round 10-9 for Klijn.

Thicha won her 50kg quarterfinal by defeating Brazil’s Eduarda “Duda” Lima (0-1-0 SB). The Thai fighter’s kicks proved to be the deciding factor and she used them to keep Lima off-balance for three rounds. Scores were 30-29 across the board for Thicha, whose Unanimous Decision win propelled her on to the next round.

Jurjevic scored her first shoot boxing victory in Japan by defeating Taiwanese boxing medallist Kai-Ting “Kill Bee” Zhuang (0-1-0 SB) in their 50kg quarterfinal fight. Jurjevic used her reach advantage to land strikes from a distance and she attempted a series of guillotine chokes until she was finally able to secure a Catch Point. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Jurjevic, who cruised to a Unanimous Decision win.

Opening up the 50kg quarterfinal round, Kubota handed Dutch star Simone van Dommelen (15-1-0 SB/KB) the first defeat of her career via Unanimous Decision. Kubota scored Shoot Points for harai goshi throws in rounds one and three and she fought off each of van Dommelen’s attempts to throw her to the mat. The judges had little trouble in determining a winner and they returned scores of 30-27, 30-28 and 29-27 for Kubota.

Rounding out the preliminary portion of the card, Akari “Union” Nakamura (8-6-1 SB/KB) defeated Yuuki Kira (6-7-2 SB/KB) by Majority Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-28) after three rounds. Michi Nakamura (2-4-0 SB/KB) defeated Tomomi Souda (0-6-0 SB/KB) by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28). Arisa Hoshiki (1-0-0 SB) defeated Maki Goto (0-1-0 SB) by TKO (Punch) at 0:53 of round two, and Mai Iwata (1-0-0 SB) defeated Naoko “Bovy” Okada by Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-26, 28-25).

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)