Yamaguchi vs Kira, Yoshimi vs Saito Set For J-Nexus TournamentJ-Girls has booked a one-night 46kg tournament for the upcoming J-Nexus 2014 card on December 20th in Tokyo, Japan. 2014 Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup winner Yukari Yamaguchi takes on J-Girls Pinweight Champion Chihiro Kira in one semi-final, while Yoshimi battles Fuka Saito in the other.

Yamaguchi won the inaugural 48kg all-Japan Girls S-Cup tournament in August and she remains unbeaten in her pro career. Kira captured J-Girls gold with a close decision win in July. The winners of the Yamaguchi-Kira and Yoshimi-Saito bouts will meet in the tournament final later in the night.

Yamaguchi (3-0-0 KB/SB), the younger teammate of Deep Jewels champion and Invicta FC contender Mizuki Inoue, is currently regarded as one of the very best female prospects in Japan. The highly-touted 16-year-old began her pro kickboxing career in June and stopped Megumi Igawa with punches in just 68 seconds. In August, Yamaguchi outpointed MMA and shoot boxing veteran “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi and two-time Shoot Boxing JKS48 Champion Mio Tsumura en route to becoming the inaugural 48kg Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup Champion. She enters the J-Nexus tournament as a significant favourite.

Kira (9-3-1 KB/SB) has been a staple of J-Girls cards in recent years and also made two appearances in the shoot boxing ring. In 2013, Kira engaged in a three-round battle with the aforementioned Mei Yamaguchi in non-tournament action on the Girls S-Cup card, and later took Mio Tsumura to a close decision in December. Returning to her kickboxing roots, Kira has since racked up three straight wins for J-Girls this year including a victory over fellow J-Nexus tournament participant Yoshimi in April and a J-Girls pinweight title win over Emi Matsushita on July 27th.

In the second semi-final, Yoshimi (5-4-2) and Saito (6-7-2) meet in a rematch from a Krush card in June, which ended in a Split Draw. Yoshimi defeated Chihiro Kira in the pair’s first fight in July 2013, but she dropped a decision to the J-Girls champ in April. She most recently earned a decision win over Mari at a J-Girls event this past month. Saito got off to a rocky start early in her career, but her lone defeats in her past nine bouts came against formidable foes in Miyako “Smile” Mitsuhori and Miku Hayashi.

J-Girls: “J-Nexus 2014” takes place on December 20th at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. The event also features a number of other women’s bouts including a five-round J-Girls Bantamweight Championship matchup between Madoka Jinnai and challenger Yoko Odamaki.

Hirofumi Sugi contributed to this report.



(Photo Credit: Akira Ishii, Gravity)

  1. hi anyone knows where took up for the japan wmma vids?
    searching in youtube only managed to find individual fight, not the whole event…
    it seems, high school/young fighters from japan and south korea has better technique that its seniors.
    is it from the high quality of high school karate competitions?