Featherweight Grand Prix Matchups Revealed For Deep Jewels 7The inaugural Deep Jewels featherweight grand prix tournament begins on February 21st at Deep Jewels 7 in Tokyo, Japan. This past weekend, a random drawing was held to determine each of the quarterfinal matchups, which feature some of the top 48kg talent on the Deep Jewels roster.

In addition to the featherweight quarterfinals, Deep Jewels 7 also features a unique tag-team grappling match. Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino teams up with Sachiko Fujimori to face off against former Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki and her AACC teammate Yuko “Amiba” Oya.

In Block A of the featherweight grand prix, veteran journeywoman Yukiko Seki (13-24-0) meets prospect Tomo Maesawa (4-4-0). Seki has enjoyed a career turnaround since mid-2010 and has posted wins in eight of her past 13 fights. She is coming off of a second-round TKO victory over Naomi Taniyama at Deep Jewels 6 in November. Maesawa has tasted defeat just one time in her past five fights. She is 2-0 under the Deep Jewels banner with wins over Brittany Ann “Briko” Decker and the aforementioned Oya.

Block B of the tournament pits another experienced veteran, Masako Yoshida (18-20-5), against highly-touted Satomi “Sarami” Takano (4-5-0). Yoshida returned to MMA in mid-2013 following a three-year hiatus and she has managed a 2-2 record for Deep Jewels. She most recently dropped a decision to Mina Kurobe at Deep Jewels 5. Takano was once one of Japan’s fastest rising new female stars, but a series of tough losses against top-level opponents derailed her climb to the top. However, she is coming off of a big submission win over Ga Yeon “Deadly Beauty” Song at Road FC 20 in December.

In Block C, unbeaten prospect Mina Kurobe (4-0-0) clashes with former Deep Jewels Interim Lightweight Champion Emi Tomimatsu (8-9-0). Kurobe has submitted all but one of her professional opponents to date and already holds victories over fellow tournament participants Maesawa, Yoshida and Takano. Tomimatsu was awarded the Deep Jewels interim 52kg title in February when opponent Mizuki Inoue missed weight, but she succumbed to an Inoue armbar in the pair’s August rematch. She fought two more times before the end of 2014 and looks to rebound from a loss to Emi Fujino on New Year’s Eve.

Rounding out the tournament quarterfinals, Block D features a bout between talented grappler Ayaka Miura (1-1-0) and former Valkyrie Featherweight Champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi (12-8-1). Miura made a big statement in her Deep Jewels debut in May by choking Ella “Power” Wu unconscious in just 85 seconds. She dropped a decision to the much more experienced Emi Fujino in November. Yamaguchi has struggled in recent fights, but remains one of the favourites in the upcoming tournament. She was outstruck en route to a Unanimous Decision defeat against Ayaka Hamasaki on December 31st.

In the event that one of the tournament participants is unable to continue, a reserve match has been set up between Miyoko Kusaka (5-8-1) and Pan Hui (1-0-0). The Kusaka-Hui winner will advance on in the tournament if another competitor becomes seriously ill or injured.

For the first time in the all-female promotion’s short history, Deep Jewels 7 will feature a ten-minute tag-team grappling match. Fujino and Fujimori face off against AACC allies Hamasaki and Oya. A weight limit and specific rules for the grappling contest remain to be determined.

Deep Jewels 7 takes place on February 21st at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.