Seo Hee Ham Retains Featherweight Title At Deep Jewels 6Deep Jewels Featherweight Champion Seo Hee Ham retained her 48kg title with a second-round submission victory tonight at Deep Jewels 6 in Tokyo, Japan. Ham finished long-time rival Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka with an armbar midway through the second round of their main event trilogy fight.

Elsewhere on tonight’s card, recent WSOF title challenger Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino returned to her winning ways with a Unanimous Decision victory over grappling specialist Ayaka Miura. Top star Shizuka Sugiyama picked up her second win over Yurika Nakakura in a competitive rematch.


Ham (15-5-0) and Ishioka (13-8-0) clashed on two occasions prior to tonight’s fight, with Ham prevailing via Unanimous Decision in bouts that were contested at 52kg. Having both recently moved down in weight, the long-time rivals faced off for a third time tonight with Ham’s Deep Jewels title on the line.

Ishioka opened the main event bout with body kicks and she attempted a kosoto gari throw from the clinch that led to a scramble on the mat. Ham reversed position, but Ishioka countered with an armbar attempt and swept into top position. She landed some solid ground and pound, and transitioned to back control and then to mount. Ham fought off an armbar and returned to her feet, but round one clearly belonged to the challenger.

Time was called early in the second round when Ishioka was inadvertently poked in the eye, but action resumed and she countered Ham’s kicks with right hooks. Ishioka shot in for a takedown and Ham sprawled. She pushed Ishioka down and mounted her, then worked for a top-side triangle choke. When that failed, Ham switched to an armbar and pulled back on Ishioka’s arm until referee Kenichi Serizawa intervened for the technical submission stoppage at the 2:43 mark of round two.

Ham extended her winning streak to six with tonight’s finish, but she was not entirely satisfied with her performance. She felt that she lacked focus in the opening round and didn’t feel comfortable with the fight until round two began.

“I wasn’t nervous today and I won my fight, but I am not pleased,” Ham said after the event. “In round one, I needed to concentrate more. I did that in round two and fought at my own pace. I felt that Ishioka was tired when I kneed her. I will fight in the higher [52kg] division if people want and if I am healthy. I will fight anywhere [including Invicta FC] if and when I get the call.”


Competing in her home country for the first time in a full year, Fujino (14-8-0) put forth a solid showing against a game Miura (1-1-0) in their co-main event bout.

Both women landed some nice right hooks in the opening round and they battled for position in clinches against the ropes. Miura eventually secured a harai goshi throw, but she could not keep Fujino down for long. Back on the feet, Fujino landed short hooks and uppercuts in close until Miura got her down with a body-lock takedown. Fujino tried to scramble back to her feet before the bell.

Fujino landed more punches in close in the second round and she repeatedly fought off Miura’s attempts to take the fight to the ground. She landed hooks and straight punches that forced Miura to clinch and shoot for takedowns repeatedly. Fujino stuffed a late takedown and took Miura’s back, then punished her with punches and hammerfists until the end of the fight. All three judges scored the bout for Fujino, who halted a two-fight losing skid.


In a bantamweight rematch from September 2012, Sugiyama (12-4-1) posted her second win over Nakakura (3-2-0) in a closely-contested fight. Sugiyama stopped Nakakura in the second round of their initial meeting, but tonight’s bout went the distance.

Sugiyama started strong by landing a series of hooks early on, but Nakakura caught a body kick and took her down. She threw Sugiyama down again soon after, but the popular karateka returned to her feet and landed short hooks until the fighters were separated. Sugiyama attempted a throw of her own, but she lost her balance and Nakakura took her back in the process. Sugiyama stood with Nakakura on her back before the bell.

The second round began with Sugiyama landing combinations of punches and knees as Nakakura pressed forward in search of a clinch. Sugiyama kept her distance with strikes and Nakakura was unable to land anything damaging when she did close in to clinch. Sugiyama landed more punches and knees as the round progressed, and she stuffed a final takedown attempt from Nakakura by landing hammerfists to the sides of her head. All three judges scored the fight for Sugiyama, who took the Unanimous Decision win and bounced back from a title fight loss in May.


Earlier on the card, Tomo Maesawa (4-4-0) eked out a Unanimous Decision win over Yuko “Amiba” Oya (8-4-0), who was penalised with two Yellow Cards for weighing in 700 grams (1.54 pounds) over the 52kg (114.4-pound) limit at yesterday’s weigh-ins.

Maesawa darted in and out and landed quick strikes early in the opening round. Oya took her down with a headlock throw, but Maesawa countered with an armbar attempt and returned to her feet. Oya got Maesawa down for a second time, but Maesawa worked for a guillotine choke and another armbar. The fight returned to the feet and Oya landed hooks to close out the round.

Oya rushed in with more looping hooks in round two and Maesawa countered by taking her down. Oya reversed position and scored with ground and pound, and Maesawa responded with upkicks and an armbar attempt. Oya mounted her and transitioned to back control, but Maesawa managed to reverse and wound up on top. She landed punches and an Oya armbar attempt led to a battle of leglocks. Oya moved from mount to back control again and scored with hammerfists before time expired.

In spite of Oya’s strong second round, the Yellow Cards played a key factor in the judges’ decision and all three awarded the decision victory to Maesawa, who has now won four of her past five fights.


Grappling ace Mina Kurobe (4-0-0) kept her perfect professional record intact with a first-round submission victory over former top prospect Satomi “Sarami” Takano (3-5-0), who has now dropped five of her past six bouts. Takano landed combinations and knees early in round one, but she was unable to get Kurobe down to the ground. Kurobe eventually reversed a takedown and took Takano’s back, then locked on a rear-naked choke that prompted referee Masato Fukuda to intervene for the techincal submission stoppage at the 4:02 mark of round one.

Chinese striker Pan Hui (1-0-0) made a successful pro MMA debut by outpointing Brittany Ann “Briko” Decker (0-2-0), who remains in search of her first pro win. Hui repeatedly thwarted Decker’s attempts to take the fight to the ground and she got the better of the striking exchanges by landing crisp punches and knees in the clinch. Decker began to tire in round two and her punches became more wild. Hui landed more punching combinations until the end of the fight and she was rewarded with a Unanimous Decision verdict from the judges.

Opening up the card, veteran journeywoman Yukiko Seki (13-24-0) overwhelmed Naomi Taniyama (1-3-0) with punches on the feet en route to a second-round TKO stoppage. Seki mixed things up with right hooks to the head and body, and Taniyama began to slow down by the late stages of the round. She tried to keep Seki at bay with kicks in round two, but Seki closed in and landed a barrage of punches that dazed Taniyama and forced referee Akira Yamazaki to stop the fight at the 1:17 mark of the second round. Seki has won two of her past three bouts under the Deep Jewels banner.


Following tonight’s event, Deep Jewels boss Shigeru Saeki spoke with and discussed the Deep Jewels 6 main event and the upcoming Deep year-end card on New Year’s Eve.

“[Saori] Ishioka tried hard and won round one, so I don’t think that she will have regrets about tonight’s fight,” he said. “[Seo Hee] Ham can defensively grapple now.

“We will announce something big in the near future,” Saeki added. “I want [Ayaka] Hamasaki to fight on New Year’s Eve, and the Deep NYE card will have 3-4 female fights. Deep Jewels 7 will happen in January, but we don’t have any fight plans for the card yet since NYE is ahead first. Many fighters will drop down to 48kg. We may also build a 45kg [99-pound] division as well in the near future.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 6 card can be found here.


  1. Now this is excellent MMA coverage and writing style. Most of the articles from other outlets (like MMAJunkie) are barely readable with poor english, improper grammar, incoherent sentences. Robert Sargent’s articles shine like diamonds in comparison. Very well done and thank you.

  2. Much appreciated. Thank you. The coverage is only possible because of Go Yamamoto, who does a great job of relaying play-by-play in his second language. No easy task.

  3. Robert, after she is in UFC roster now, can you put an article about her? saw her wikipedia, really little in background.
    Love the piece on the 17th and 19th years old Mizuki Inoue, hope you can work one up on this Hamdelei Silva.