Syuri Kondo Wins MMA Debut Against Kanna Asakura At Pancrase 277Krush women’s kickboxing champion Syuri Kondo began her MMA career with a close and competitive decision victory tonight at Pancrase 277 in Tokyo, Japan. Kondo edged out previously undefeated teen prospect Kanna Asakura in a featured strawweight showdown on tonight’s main card.

The talented fighters spent the majority of the bout battling for takedowns and trading strikes in clinches against the cage. Kondo managed to secure a tight rear-naked choke in the dying stages of round three, which proved to be just enough to seal a razor-thin decision victory on the scorecards.


Kondo (13-1-0 KB; 1-0-0 MMA) and Asakura (3-1-0) traded cautious punches in the opening minute and Asakura circled on the outside. Kondo clinched and pinned her against the fence, but Asakura reversed position and she worked for a double-leg takedown. Kondo defended well and both women landed knees to the body. Kondo landed one more to the face before the bell.

In round two, Kondo established her jab and she followed with a quick flurry, but Asakura took her down to a kneeling position against the base of the cage. She tried to put Kondo on her back and very briefly moved to side control. Kondo stood up and Asakura threw knees while holding her against the cage wall. Kondo countered with short knees to the body and the fighters were separated. Asakura landed a jab and Kondo replied with a right hook before clinching in the final seconds.

Kondo closed the distance and landed a trio of right hands early in the final round. Asakura reversed a clinch and Kondo landed knees to the head and body. She pulled Asakura down to the mat with a front choke, but Asakura stood up and promptly took her down. Kondo scrambled in the final minute and she worked for a standing rear-naked choke. Asakura controlled Kondo’s arm and prevented her from fully locking in the choke, but Kondo was finally able to sink it in with five seconds to go. She hopped on Asakura’s back and pulled her down to the mat with the choke applied, but time expired.

Kondo’s superior grappling late in the final round was enough to earn her the round and the fight as a whole. Scores were 29-28 across the board for the 27-year-old veteran pro wrestler and kickboxer, who is one of Japan’s most well-known female combat sports athletes. She kicked off her MMA career with a big victory tonight, and Asakura also put forth a solid showing in the closely-contested fight.

“I wanted to throw more strikes, but I think I was nervous,” Kondo told following the bout. “I felt that I won the fight and I may have finished it with the choke if I had had more time. I don’t choose my [MMA] opponents yet, and I will fight anyone who is matched against me.

“I was raised by a single mother and I am very grateful to her,” Kondo added of her Filipino heritage. “I want to be in the UFC and I hope to face Joanna [JÄ™drzejczyk] in the future.”

Winner: Syuri Kondo by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 1-0-0.



(Photo Credit: Bout Review)