Yukari Yamaguchi, Kanna Asakura Victorious At VTJ In OsakaTop Japanese prospect Yukari Yamaguchi scored a quick and impressive submission victory in her long-awaited pro MMA debut tonight at Vale Tudo Japan: “VTJ In Osaka” in Osaka, Japan. Yamaguchi, who turned 17 on Friday, finished Mikiko Hiyama with a first-round rear-naked choke.

Yamaguchi wasn’t the only teen prospect to earn a submission victory on tonight’s preliminary card. 17-year-old atomweight Kanna Asakura, who won her pro MMA debut at VTJ 6th in October, kept her perfect record intact by submitting Miyuki Furusawa with a rear-naked choke in the first round.


Yamaguchi (1-0-0) repeatedly switched up her stance in the opening seconds and she landed a quick right-left combo before clinching and taking Hiyama (0-1-0) down. Hiyama grabbed the cage, but Yamaguchi still easily got her down to the mat and she immediately transitioned to back control. Within seconds, Yamaguchi locked on a rear-naked choke and Hiyama was forced to submit at the 1:22 mark of the opening round.

Tonight’s victory was a long time coming for Yamaguchi, who competed in her lone amateur MMA bout at age 13 in late 2011. Much like her teammate, Deep Jewels and Shoot Boxing champ Mizuki Inoue, Yamaguchi remains active in other combat sports. She captured the inaugural 48kg Shoot Boxing Japan Girls S-Cup title this past year and is currently on a short list of contenders for the J-Girls Mini Flyweight Championship in kickboxing.


Asakura (2-0-0) put forth an impressive performance in her second VTJ bout. She countered punches and a spinning back kick from Furusawa (0-1-0) by taking her down. On the mat, Asakura used a kimura to set up a pass from half-guard to mount. Furusawa gave up her back and tried to scramble free, but Asakura secured a rear-naked choke and Furusawa tapped at the 2:17 mark of round one.

VTJ continues to develop talented young male and female fighters with its prospect-driven “VTJ Next” series. Tonight’s female fights were put together thanks to assistance from MMA legend Megumi Fujii.



(Photo Credit: Bout Review)

  1. […] had a significant impact on tonight’s “VTJ In Osaka” event. Adopting the role of matchmaker, Fujii helped to put together both female fights on the card. She […]