Naho Sugiyama, Emi Tomimatsu Earn Key Wins At Deep Jewels 10Former Jewels champion Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama got back on the winning track with a hard-fought Unanimous Decision victory on Monday at Deep Jewels 10 in Tokyo, Japan. Sugiyama’s superior striking allowed her to edge out rising star Mina Kurobe in Monday’s atomweight main event.

In the 105-pound co-main event, former Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Emi Tomimatsu eked out a narrow Split Decision victory over Satomi “Sarami” Takano after three rounds. At strawweight, Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino outpointed a game Nori Date, who was making her pro debut.


Sugiyama (11-4-0) and Kurobe (5-2-0) engaged in a competitive matchup on Monday afternoon that featured back-and-forth action in the clinch. Neither woman had any success at all with takedown attempts, as each was able to repeatedly thwart the other’s efforts to take the fight down to the mat. Sugiyama became more aggressive with her punches in rounds two and three as she chased Kurobe around the ring. Kurobe answered back with jabs, but Sugiyama stunned her with a late flurry that left a lasting impression on the judges.

All three judges scored the fight for Sugiyama, who made a successful return to action with the Unanimous Decision verdict after suffering a one-sided TKO loss to current Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki at Deep Jewels 5 in August 2014.

“My impression of this fight after such a long absence is that it hurt,” Sugiyama commented after the bout. “I have a purpose for the rest of my career, but for now it will remain a secret. I can only say that I will aim for victory in all of my future fights.”


Tomimatsu (10-10-0) rallied back after a shaky first round and took a razor-thin Split Decision win over Takano (7-7-0), who had won four of her past five fights. Takano secured a takedown into mount in round one and she took Tomimatsu’s back soon after, but Tomimatsu managed to scramble free and she returned to her feet before the bell.

In rounds two and three, Tomimatsu fought off Takano’s takedown attempts and she began to get the better of the striking exchanges by snapping Takano’s head back with stiff jabs. Takano countered with front kicks and she bullied Tomimatsu into a corner in round three, but Tomimatsu attacked with a standing kimura attempt and the bout went to the scorecards.

Judge Masato Fukuda saw the fight for Takano, but he was overruled by judges Hidenobu Koike and Kenichi Serizawa, who both sided with Tomimatsu. The grappling specialist has won back-to-back fights this year.

“I trained for a striking battle, and I wanted to use combinations but couldn’t,” Tomimatsu stated after her fight. “I watched UFC documentaries for motivation, but I was unable to match my expectations. I would like to fight for the belt, but for now, [Tomo] Maesawa would be an interesting next opponent.”


Making a quick return to action after suffering her third loss to Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Mizuki Inoue in August, Fujino (17-9-0) had a much tougher fight on her hands than many had anticipated against Nori (0-1-0), who showcased some excellent striking skills throughout the bout.

Nori struck from a distance early in the fight and stuffed one takedown, but Fujino dragged her down and landed punches after trapping Nori’s arm. Fujino continued to work for takedowns in rounds two and three, but Nori’s takedown defence was solid and she punished Fujino with hammerfists to the temples. Nori was also effective with knees in the clinch, but Fujino took her back down and briefly held mount in the final moments of round three.

The judges were united and all three scored the fight for Fujino, who took a Unanimous Decision victory. However, in her pro debut, 17-year-old Nori established herself as a future star for the promotion with a solid showing. She stated after the fight that she hopes to one day challenge for a Deep Jewels title and would also like to compete for the newly-formed Rizin Fighting Federation.


In the biggest upset on the card, 18-year-old Hana Date (1-0-0) kicked off her pro MMA career with a big victory over Pan Hui (1-1-0) in an atomweight bout. Hana stuffed takedowns throughout the first round and she dazed Hui with a backfist. She battered Hui with hard knees in the clinch in round two and continued to fend off Hui’s takedown attempts.

At the end of two rounds, all three judges scored the fight for Hana, who earned a Unanimous Decision win and also Deep Jewels 10 MVP honours. Like her teammate, Nori, Hana also expressed an interest in fighting her way into Deep Jewels title contention and moving on to compete for Rizin.


The event’s preliminary card featured three additional “Deep Jewels vs Team Date” matchups. Sachiko Fujimori (4-1-0) made short work of the debuting Karei Date (0-1-0) in a professional strawweight bout. Fujimori took Karei down early in the fight and moved straight to mount. She landed numerous punches from the top until the fight was waved off at the 1:37 mark.

Natsumi Okubo threatened with kimuras throughout her two-round grappling match with Daiichi “Leader” Date and prevailed via Unanimous Decision. Daiichi was forced to play defence in both rounds as Okubo worked for takedowns and repeatedly targeted her arms. Daiichi escaped on each occasion, but Okubo’s dominance on the mat was easily enough to secure the victory.

Opening up the card, an amateur bantamweight bout between Reina Miura and Nao Date was declared a No Contest due to Miura’s failure to make the contracted weight limit. Miura unofficially won the fight with a scarf hold armlock in the first round, but she was deemed ineligible to win due to missing weight.

Deep Jewels boss Shigeru Saeki, who was hospitalised prior to the event, attended Monday’s show and commented on the future of Deep Jewels.

“Sugiyama and Kurobe had a competitive fight, and Hana and Nori Date bring an added impact to Deep Jewels because they are still young,” Saeki stated. “[Nobuyuki] Sakakibara came to the event today and I would like to expand women’s fights to a larger audience. We will hold an event at Korakuen Hall in 2016, and our next event will be in March.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on Monday’s Deep Jewels 10 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)