Rena Kubota Retains Title, Mio Tsumura Wins 2016 SB Girls S-CupShoot Boxing Women’s Flyweight Champion Rena Kubota successfully retained her title with a dominant third-round stoppage victory tonight during the 2016 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup in Tokyo, Japan. Kubota finished Polish challenger Klaudia Pawicka with a series of knees in the 51kg main event.

In tonight’s co-feature, Kubota’s teammate and protégé, Mio Tsumura, achieved her dream of becoming a Girls S-Cup tournament world champion. Tsumura edged out Akari “Union” Nakamura in the Girls S-Cup final. In an MMA bout, Kanako Murata stayed unbeaten by stopping Ilona Wijmans.


Kubota (33-5-1 SB/KB) used front kicks to keep Pawicka off-balance in the opening round, and she defended well when Pawicka clinched and tried for a suplex throw. In the second round, Kubota picked Pawicka apart with kicks and punches to the body that ultimately led to a standing count after Pawicka staggered and touched her glove down on the mat.

Kubota kept the pressure on in round three and hurt Pawicka with an early barrage of knees in the clinch. After a second standing count from the referee, Pawicka was allowed to continue, but Kubota swarmed on her with more knees that dropped her to the canvas. Pawicka’s corner had seen enough and threw in the towel, prompting the referee to wave off the fight at the 1:42 mark of round three.

Tonight’s successful title defence went exactly as planned for Kubota, who had predicted that she would stop Pawicka in the third or fourth round. The popular champion has won an incredible 17 straight fights against challengers from all over the world.

“I kept my word and made good on my KO prediction,” Kubota stated backstage after thanking the fans for their support. “I faced a taller fighter than usual [tonight], but that was not a concern to me. It’s my low [strikes] that still aren’t very good yet and need more work. I wanted to test myself in this fight. I gained a lot more attention after competing for Rizin, and my next fight may be in September since both Shoot Boxing and Rizin will be holding events.”


Tsumura (23-2-0 SB), who won an all-Japan edition of the Girls S-Cup tournament in 2015, added a true Girls S-Cup title to her collection with a hard-fought victory over Nakamura (16-11-1 SB/KB) in tonight’s 48kg final that required an extension round in order to determine a winner.

In round one, Tsumura relied upon kicks as her primary offensive weapon, while Nakamura countered with lunging hooks and combinations. Both women tried unsuccessfully for throws before the bell. Tsumura kept Nakamura pinned in corners throughout much of round two, and she landed more body kicks in the exchanges. Nakamura had greater success with her punching flurries in the final round, but Tsumura remained effective with her kicks. The bout went to the scorecards and was declared a Majority Draw with scores of 29-28 for Tsumura and 29-29 twice.

The bout continued with an extension round that began with a quick jab-cross combo from Tsumura. Nakamura fired back with kicks, which led to an exchange of power punches. Tsumura closed out the round with a series of jabs and the judges were called upon once again. One scored the extension round even at 10-10. The remaining two both had it 10-9 for Tsumura, who took the Majority Decision victory and the tournament championship.

“Thanks for coming out on a weekday. I came to Tokyo to chase my dreams,” Tsumura stated while addressing the crowd post-fight. “I want to be an action movie star, too! I regret that I could not knock [Nakamura] out, but I will improve. I wanted to get a finish like Rena did, but Akari has improved a lot. She will be my rival, but I will lead the 48kg division.”


In tonight’s lone mixed martial arts bout, standout wrestler Murata (3-0-0) made quick work of Wijmans (0-1-0), who was overwhelmed right from the opening bell. Murata took Wijmans down into side control and landed punches that allowed her to trap Wijmans in a top-side crucifix. With both arms pinned down, Wijmans could not move or defend against Murata’s onslaught of punches and hammerfists, which forced referee Masato Fukuda to intervene for a TKO stoppage at the 1:17 mark of round one.

Earlier on the card, Nakamura advanced to the 48kg Girls S-Cup final by knocking out Taiwanese fighter Yuri early in round one of their semi-final matchup. Nakamura kept Yuri at a distance with leg kicks and stunned her with a head kick. She clinched and landed a devastating knee that sent Yuri crashing to the canvas. The fight was stopped and Nakamura was awarded a knockout victory at the 1:02 mark.

Tsumura had a more difficult fight on her hands in her Girls S-Cup semi-final bout against Yurika Jimbo. Tsumura’s ability to chain together combinations of kicks and punches allowed her to take a slight edge in the striking exchanges. Jimbo put forth a solid showing in defeat, but she was unable to match Tsumura’s speed. Scores were 30-28 and 30-29 twice for Tsumura, who moved on to the championship final with the Unanimous Decision win.

In a non-tournament 48kg bout, Misaki Morita took a contentious Unanimous Decision victory over Maki Goto. The back-and-forth fight saw both fighters land some solid combinations on the feet in all three rounds. A Split Draw was declared with scores of 30-28 Morita, 29-28 Goto and 29-29. In the fourth and final round, Goto appeared to win the striking exchanges with jab-cross combos as Morita slowed down. The judges disagreed, however, and returned a trio of 10-9 scores for Morita.

Opening up the card, Hinata Terayama outstruck Mei Umeo en route to a Unanimous Decision victory in a non-tournament 49kg bout. Terayama’s speed and superior combinations told the story, as she repeatedly beat Umeo to the punch. Umeo fought off a throw attempt in round three, but Terayama punished her with knees in the clinch. Scores were 30-28 across the board for Terayama, who walked away with a well-deserved victory.


Following tonight’s event, which drew an audience of 1068, Shoot Boxing founder Takeshi Caesar offered his thoughts about the card and about the future of female fighting.

“Younger fighters often rely on power, but the later fights tonight all became much more technical,” he stated. “I can feel Mio’s resolve as she devotes her life to fighting. Moving forward, I want Rena to be in main events of SB cards that also include men’s fights. I think that women will change the sports world. Rena is a clever fighter who learns quickly, and that strength should be valued highly. This Girls S-Cup only included one Taiwanese fighter and I would like to hold a real world tournament in the future.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)