Ai Takahashi, Gracyer Aki Victorious At Shoot Boxing: Ground ZeroFormer Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi concluded her career with one of her biggest victories tonight at Shoot Boxing: “Ground Zero Tokyo 2015” in Tokyo, Japan. Takahashi avenged a past loss by edging out long-time shoot boxing rival Mizuki Inoue.

Following tonight’s victory, Takahashi, who had previously suffered three defeats against Inoue, announced her retirement from competition. In other action on the card, former J-Girls champion Gracyer Aki took a hard-fought Split Decision win over late replacement foe Akari “Union” Nakamura.


Takahashi (26-5-0 SB/KB) kicked at Inoue’s (7-2-0 SB) body in the opening seconds and Inoue replied with a quick flurry near the ropes. Both women set up right hooks with body kicks and Takahashi used her reach advantage. Inoue punched her way into a clinch and scored with short uppercuts, and the fighters exchanged punches in the final seconds of the round.

Inoue began round two by landing a nice combination, but Takahashi continued to find success with kicks to the midsection. She landed a chopping leg kick and a front kick to Inoue’s face. Inoue flurried in close and finished with a lead left hook that briefly backed Takahashi up, but Takahashi regained her footing and she snapped Inoue’s head back with a one-two. Inoue caught a body kick and Takahashi countered with knees in a clinch. She finished the round with two more leg kicks.

Powerful kicks were exchanged early in the final round and both women landed strikes in a clinch. Inoue countered Takahashi’s uppercuts by landing a series of knees. She attempted a hip-toss throw, but was unable to get enough of an arc to earn a Shoot Point. Inoue punched her way into another clinch and Takahashi punished her with a series of knees to the ribs. The action-packed final round continued with Takahashi landing more knees as Inoue flurried with punches over the top.

After three competitive rounds, the bout went to the scorecards. One judge had it 30-29 for Inoue. The remaining two both scored it 30-29 for the retiring Takahashi, who avenged one of her three defeats to Inoue and concluded her career with an impressive nine-fight winning streak.

Winner: Ai Takahashi by Split Decision (30-29, 30-29, 29-30) after three 3:00 rounds. She improves her combined shoot boxing and kickboxing record to 26-5-0.


Aki (28-10-2 SB/KB) and Nakamura (13-9-1 SB/KB) traded quick kicks in the opening seconds of their bout and Aki targeted Nakamura’s upper body. The southpaw Nakamura pawed out with jabs and she countered a head kick with one-two combos. Aki threw more head kicks in the middle portion of the round and both women scored with punching flurries before the bell.

Nakamura immediately countered Aki’s kicks with three-punch combos and hard leg kicks in the middle stanza. Each time Aki landed a kick, Nakamura fired back with punches and kicks of her own. She backed Aki up against the ropes and scored with another combination in the final minute.

Round three began with a lengthy exchange of punches and Aki continued to look for a knockout with head kicks. Nakamura secured a headlock throw, but it was not high enough to earn a Shoot Point. Aki remained aggressive and she pressed forward with combinations of punches and body kicks. Nakamura fired back with looping punches, but Aki landed the crisper strikes. In the final 40 seconds, Nakamura landed knee-punch combos and Aki answered back with more head kicks.

The close fight went to the judges and one scored it 30-28 for Nakamura. The remaining two judges had it 30-29 and 29-28, respectively, for Aki, who picked up a big victory.

Winner: Gracyer Aki by Split Decision (30-29, 29-28, 28-30) after three 3:00 rounds. She improves her combined shoot boxing and kickboxing record to 28-10-2.



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)