Yukari Yamaguchi vs Michi Nakamura Booked For J-Girls & SB CardBefore she makes her long-awaited pro MMA debut next month, 16-year-old Yukari Yamaguchi first competes in a kickboxing match on Sunday night at “J-Girls X Shoot Boxing” in Tokyo, Japan. The highly-touted Yamaguchi is set to face off against shoot boxing veteran Michi Nakamura on the card.

J-Girls officials announced the 105-pound matchup this week. Yamaguchi is coming off of a 97-second destruction of Midori Kato in March. Nakamura has won three straight fights under shoot boxing rules and most recently avenged a past loss by defeating prospect Yusa Tachi in November.

Yamaguchi (12-2-0 amateur, 4-1-0 pro KB/SB) made a successful pro debut as a kickboxer this past June before entering the inaugural 48kg Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup tournament in August. She defeated two opponents in one night, including two-time JKS48 tournament winner Mio Tsumura, to become the first 48kg Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup Champion. Next month, just days after she celebrates her 17th birthday, Yamaguchi will make her pro MMA debut at “VTJ In Osaka,” but she first meets Nakamura this weekend in a J-Girls mini flyweight tournament bout.

Nakamura (3-4-0 SB/KB) sports a modest record compared to her opponent this weekend, but she has faced some of the top prospects on the Shoot Boxing roster in recent years. After a car accident forced her out of her Shoot Boxing JKS48 semi-final bout in August 2013, Nakamura returned to the ring three months later and dropped a decision to Tachi in the pair’s first fight. She rebounded with victories over Akari “Union” Nakamura and Tomomi Souda, then outpointed Tachi in a November rematch. Nakamura now returns to kickboxing competition for the first time since late 2012.

“J-Girls X Shoot Boxing” takes place this Sunday, May 24th, at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)