Mizuki Inoue Captures Lightweight Title At Deep Jewels 5Highly-touted Japanese prospect Mizuki Inoue captured her first major MMA title tonight at Deep Jewels 5 in Tokyo. The 19-year-old rising star submitted interim champion Emi Tomimatsu with a third-round armbar to become the Undisputed Deep Jewels Lightweight Champion at 52 kg (114.4 pounds).

Inoue submitted Tomimatsu with a third-round armbar in the pair’s first bout in February, but she was disqualified for missing weight and Tomimatsu was awarded the interim belt. Elsewhere tonight, Ayaka Hamasaki picked up a big TKO victory over fellow ex-Jewels champ Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama.


Inoue (8-2-0) established her jab early in tonight’s title fight, but Tomimatsu (7-8-0) was game and she answered back with right hands and leg kicks. She continued to find success with right hooks, but Inoue put together crisp combinations of punches as the round progressed and she mixed things up with leg and front kicks. Inoue scored with left-right combos late in the round and Tomimatsu responded with knees in the clinch.

In the second stanza, Inoue picked up the pace early on and she landed more punching combinations and body kicks. Inoue backed Tomimatsu into a corner with punches, but Tomimatsu reversed and she landed a nice right hand after the fighters separated. Inoue pinned Tomimatsu in the corner and landed knees to the body, but Tomimatsu punched her way free and attempted a takedown. She took Inoue’s back as the fighters stood, but Inoue finished the round strong with body kicks and a flurry.

Inoue immediately stuffed a takedown and took Tomimatsu’s back in round three. She dragged Tomimatsu to the ground and transitioned from half-guard to back control. Tomimatsu tried to stand up, but Inoue latched onto her arm and secured an armbar for the title-winning tapout victory at the 1:33 mark of round three.

“I trained kicks so that I could use them today because I did not plan to be hit often by Emi while preparing for this fight,” Inoue stated after the bout. “We traded [strikes] more than I had expected, so I should improve my defence more. I want to have good defence against many fighters. I also want to go to the UFC, but it’s too early.

“Yukari [Yamaguchi] just won the [48kg Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup Japan] belt, and so I feel now that I cannot lose as a mentor [to her],” Inoue added.

Tonight’s victory was a long time coming for Inoue, whose early-career defeat to then-Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki kept her out of the Jewels title picture before the promotion merged with Deep this past year. Having already captured two Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5kg titles, Inoue now adds her first MMA championship to her growing collection and she may next compete for another belt under the Invicta FC banner. Inoue celebrates her 20th birthday on August 19th.


In one of the most impressive performances of her career, Hamasaki (10-1-0) easily dispatched of Sugiyama (10-4-0) in tonight’s 48kg (105.6-pound) featherweight co-main event.

Hamasaki, who dropped down in weight for her featherweight debut tonight, was competing for the first time since suffering her lone career defeat against current UFC star Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha at Invicta FC 6. Having at last recovering from nagging knee injuries that hindered her career, Hamasaki made a triumphant return tonight with an emphatic stoppage win.

Both women were very aggressive with punches right away and Hamasaki dropped Sugiyama with a one-two. She landed more punches as Sugiyama returned to her feet and shrugged off Sugiyama’s right hand counters. Hamasaki took Sugiyama down and peppered her with punches from the scarf hold position. Sugiyama attempted to stand up, but Hamasaki pinned her arm behind her back and landed unanswered punches until referee Kenichi Serizawa stopped the fight at the 4:01 mark of round one.

“I threw too many big punches tonight because I was nervous and I should throw more compact strikes so my technique gets better,” Hamasaki said following her fight. “My knee is 100%, but Sugiyama has strong power and she is not an easy opponent at all. I will stay at 48kg and my goal now is to become a foreign champion, so I would like to compete in a foreign cage again.”

Hamasaki’s TKO victory tonight was only the second of her pro career and the first one via strikes. Her dominant performance sent a message to the rest of the Deep Jewels featherweight division, which is led by champion Seo Hee Ham, whom Hamasaki defeated twice in the Jewels lightweight division.


Tonight’s best bout was unquestionably a lightweight battle between grappling specialists Yuko “Amiba” Oya (8-3-0) and Sachiko Fujimori (3-1-0). Oya prevailed via Unanimous Decision in an action-packed back-and-forth fight.

Oya countered an early right hand from Fujimori by repeatedly taking her opponent down against the ropes. Fujimori got up each time and she took mount after sprawling out of one of Oya’s takedown attempts. Fujimori rained down punches from the top, but it was not long before she was mounted herself and Oya returned the favour with some nasty ground and pound of her own. Oya attempted an armbar and landed more hard punches after Fujimori gave up her back, but Fujimori swept into top position and scored with strikes from mount to close out the fantastic round.

Early in round two, Oya got Fujmori back down and she remained very aggressive with strikes on the ground. Fujimori eventually reversed position in a scramble and she took Oya’s back seconds later. Fujimori nearly locked on a rear-naked choke, but Oya turned into it and she dropped punches from the top. Fujimori worked for an armbar, but Oya punched her way free before the end of the fight.

All three judges scored the bout for Oya, who remains undefeated in three straight appearances for Deep Jewels. The AACC fighter remains one of the most popular fighters on the Deep Jewels roster.


In other MMA action on the card, Mina Kurobe (3-0-0) earned a Unanimous Decision victory over veteran Masako Yoshida (18-20-5) in a featherweight fight. Kurobe controlled the fight on the feet with right hooks and numerous knees to the body in the clinch. She was unable to take Yoshida down in the second round, but still managed to prevent the long-time contender from mounting any sustained offence. All three judges scored the fight for Kurobe, whose unbeaten record remains intact.

Veteran Miyoko Kusaka (5-8-1) rebounded from a two-fight losing skid with a second-round technical submission victory over Tamaki Usui (1-1-0). Much of round one was contested in the clinch, but neither woman landed anything significant aside from occasional knees from Usui. Kusaka scored a takedown into mount and she battered Usui with punches late in the round. After a striking exchange in round two, Kusaka took Usui down and secured an armbar that prompted referee Masato Fukuda to halt the bout at the 2:40 mark of the second stanza.


Tonight’s card also featured three grappling matches. In one, Deep Jewels postergirl Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka earned a hard-fought Unanimous Decision victory over fellow featherweight Yukiko Seki. In round one, Seki defended well against Ishioka’s takedown attempts, but Ishioka ultimately got her to the mat with a tight guillotine choke. The fighters battled back and forth on the mat, with Ishioka attempting multiple submission attempts including an armbar and another guillotine choke.

In round two, Ishioka reversed an early takedown and threatened with a top-side guillotine choke. Seki rolled into her guard and escaped, but Ishioka wasted no time in taking her opponent’s back in search of a rear-naked choke. Seki scrambled into top position and fought off a triangle choke from Ishioka late in the round. A heel hook attempt from Seki did not yield success before the final bell and all three judges scored the match in Ishioka’s favour.

Satomi “Sarami” Takano eked out a razor-thin Split Decision win over Ayaka Miura in their lightweight grappling match. Miura scored multiple takedowns and passed to side control in round one, but Takano came on strong in the second round with a lengthy triangle choke attempt from her back. Miura tried to slam her way free, but Takano tightened the choke and attempted an armbar. Miura finally escaped and she finished the round with a scarf hold armlock, but Takano made it to the bell and took home a narrow decision victory.

Opening up tonight’s card, Yoshiko Kimata defeated Sayuri Yamaguchi in a featherweight grappling match. Yamaguchi worked from Kimata’s guard throughout the first round, but she was unable to pass or threaten with any submissions. Kimata attempted an armbar in round two and she used a triangle choke to set up a move to mount. Kimata maintained the choke until the end of the bout and looked for a triangle armbar shortly before the bell. All three judges scored the match for Kimata, who earned a Unanimous Decision win.


Deep Jewels boss Shigeru Saeki commented on a variety of topics following tonight’s event. He first stated that Deep Jewels 6 will take place on November 3rd and that his promotion’s partnership with online iPPV streaming service Ustream, which was previously set to end following tonight’s card, will instead continue on thanks to recent negotiations between the two parties.

“[The main event tonight] was a close fight, but Mizuki won,” Saeki noted. “I have spoken with foreign organisations about both Mizuki and Ayaka. I was surprised by [Yuko] ‘Amiba’ [Oya’s] performance tonight as well. Our next event will be in November.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 5 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)

  1. This fighter is a real sleeper…she might just steamroll through whatever strawweight champion emerges from tuf 20.