Mizuki Inoue, Ji Yeon Kim Win Title Bouts At Deep Jewels 9Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Mizuki Inoue successfully retained her title in the Deep Jewels 9 main event tonight in Tokyo, Japan. The talented 21-year-old rebounded from a pair of tough setbacks under the Invicta FC banner by defeating Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino for a third time.

South Korean standout Ji Yeon Kim kept her undefeated record intact and captured her second pro MMA title in tonight’s co-main event. Kim, the reigning Gladiator Women’s Bantamweight Champion, defeated veteran Takayo Hashi in a rematch for the Deep Jewels bantamweight title.


Inoue (9-4-0) countered early jab-hook combos and a clinch from Fujino (16-9-0) by reversing position against the cage, but neither fighter was able to mount any sustained offence in the clinch. After separating, Fujino missed with a left hook and another clinch battle ensued. Inoue scored with a series of jabs late in the close opening round.

Fujino was very aggressive with her strikes in the second round, but Inoue countered nicely with a short elbow and more stiff jabs. Fujino closed the distance and took Inoue’s back, but Inoue reversed into top position after the fighters fell to the mat. She fought off a Fujino guillotine choke attempt and closed out the round strong with hammerfists from the top.

Inoue targeted the body with punches in the final round and Fujino fired back with left and right hooks. Inoue began to pick her apart with jab-cross combos that caused Fujino’s face to swell up and turn red. The doctor was called in to check on her, but action soon continued and Inoue dominated the striking exchanges. She blocked Fujino’s punches and landed a one-two before the bell.

The judges were united and all three scored the fight for Inoue, whose Unanimous Decision victory got her back on track following back-to-back decision losses for Invicta FC. She has now defeated Fujino three times, including twice in MMA competition, but still feels that she has a lot of improving left to do.

“I said at the press conference that I would win big, but it was a close fight,” Inoue stated following the main event. “Emi was very strong and I need to train more. I’m glad that I won because I had been continuously losing. In round three, Emi was cut around the eye because of my left hook, so I thought that I did damage, but I could not make a decisive victory.

“Emi has better core strength,” Inoue added. “I need that type of thing. I need more power and accuracy. I will continue to do both MMA and kickboxing because I need to re-motivate myself after my losses.”


Kim (4-0-2) put forth her best performance to date tonight in her title-winning victory over Hashi (15-6-1), with whom she previously battled to a Unanimous Draw under the Road FC banner in March 2014.

Kim landed jabs and crosses early in the opening round, but Hashi repeatedly held her against the cage and a stalemate followed until Kim ultimately circled away. She landed more jabs and straight lefts, and stuffed Hashi’s takedown attempts in the second stanza. Hashi eventually dragged Kim down into a seated position, but little transpired on the mat and the fighters were stood up. Kim stuffed another takedown as the round came to a close.

The final round began with an exchange of punches and both women landed left hooks. Kim dropped Hashi and she moved from half-guard to Hashi’s back. Hashi shook her off and wound up in top position, but Kim scrambled and she closed out the fight with ground and pound.

Kim’s knockdown and late-fight offence was enough to earn her a Unanimous Decision victory from the judges. She now holds both the Deep Jewels and Gladiator women’s bantamweight titles and is one of Asia’s fastest rising female stars. Hashi has dropped back-to-back fights since winning the vacant Deep Jewels Bantamweight Championship in May 2014.

“I faced Hashi before and I was the challenger tonight, so I knew that I had to do much better as the challenger,” Kim stated following her victory. “Training was hard, but I wanted to win, so I survived it. I must praise Hashi because I learned a lot from her. I will continue to improve, so please support me.”


Earlier on tonight’s card, former Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Emi Tomimatsu (9-10-0) picked up a quick victory over short-notice replacement opponent Natsuki Shimomakise (0-1-0), who was making her pro MMA debut. Tomimatsu clinched early on and took Shimomakise down into half-guard near the cage. She moved to mount and dropped punches that allowed her to spin into an armbar, and referee Yoshinori Umeki called for the technical submission stoppage at the 2:43 mark of round one.

In a grappling match, newcomer Natsumi Mukai upset Deep Jewels mainstay Megumi Sugimoto. Mukai stuffed Sugimoto’s takedowns early on, then allowed Sugimoto to take her back on the feet. Just when Sugimoto appeared to be in a dominant position, Mukai dropped down with a kimura and torqued back on Sugimoto’s arm, forcing referee Yoshinori Umeki to halt the match. The official time of the technical submission came at the 3:29 mark of round one.

Rounding out the action, the retiring Miyoko Kusaka engaged in a lighthearted exhibition grappling match against Yukiko Seki, “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi and Ayaka Hamasaki.

“Women’s MMA fans would have left to go back home if Deep Jewels had started first tonight,” said Deep boss Shigeru Saeki following the card. “So I chose to start Deep Jewels later [between tonight’s two Deep events]. There were two title fights, so women’s MMA had more authority tonight.

“It is hard to book female MMA fights now, and 95% of Deep Jewels [funding] is lost money, but I believe in the potential of female fighters and that is why I invest. Natsumi Mukai may debut in MMA soon if she is mature enough.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 9 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)