Reina Miura, Satomi Takano Lead Winners At Deep Jewels 16Charismatic Japanese star “King” Reina Miura kept her perfect professional MMA record intact with a one-sided stoppage victory tonight at Deep Jewels 16 in Tokyo, Japan. Miura finished German opponent Kristin Handel late in the opening round of their welterweight main event matchup tonight.

Deep Jewels 16 also featured four atomweight bouts including a potential title eliminator in the co-main event. Satomi “Sarami” Takano secured her third straight finish under the Deep Jewels banner by defeating fellow promotional mainstay Tomo Maesawa in an action-packed battle.


Miura (4-0-0) cracked Handel (1-1-0) with hard right hands early in the main event contest. Handel tried to keep her distance with jabs, but Miura pressed forward and scored a double-leg takedown that allowed her to pass to side control. She landed knees to the body and mounted Handel soon after. Handel attempted to tie Miura up from the bottom, but Miura battered and bloodied her face with relentless ground and pound until the fight was ultimately stopped at the 4:24 mark.

Post-fight, Miura campaigned to Rizin Fighting Federation founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara for a spot on the next Rizin card. Sakakibara, who was in attendance, asked the audience if they would like to see Miura compete at Rizin’s next event in July. Fans yelled out that they did, and Sakakibara promised to look to North America in order to find a challenging opponent for Miura.

“I wanted to fight a striking battle,” Miura stated backstage after her win. “I fought a big opponent, but I fight men daily in the gym and so I was not worried. I want to fight stronger fighters. I want opponents to pose a threat to me. I have no idea how strong I really am, and so I need stronger opponents. Whether I have a Rizin fight or not, I will train every day.”


Continuing her recent streak of victories, Takano (10-8-0) fought through a back-and-forth first round and dominated round two on the ground en route to a TKO triumph over an ever-improving Maesawa (7-7-0), who put on one of her best performances to date in defeat.

Takano set up an early takedown with a right hand, but Maesawa reversed position on the mat and she scored with some nice ground and pound. Takano used an armbar attempt to set up a scramble back up to her feet, and both women scored takedowns before the end of the round. Takano took Maesawa down two more times with harai goshi throws in the second stanza, and she struck from the top in half-guard. When Takano mounted her opponent, Maesawa was forced to give up her back, and Takano blasted her with punches to the side of the head until the fight was waved off at 4:42 of round two.

“At first, I was worried, but I could hear my corner very well in round two and I got the finish,” Takano said backstage. “My opponent was good at grappling, but I could feel that she was getting tired. That made me confident. The [Deep Jewels atomweight] title belt will fit me.”


In other atomweight action on the card, Yuko Kiryu (4-4-0) made short work of the still-winless Natsuki Shimomakise (0-5-0). Following an exchange of jabs, Kiryu landed knees, but Shimomakise responded with a takedown. Kiryu quickly countered with a tight armbar from the bottom and referee Kenichi Serizawa intervened for a technical submission stoppage at the 2:35 mark of round one.

Skilled prospect Pan “Kai” Hui (4-2-0) rebounded from a loss in February by scoring a well-deserved but largely uneventful Unanimous Decision victory over Kyu Kitano (1-1-0) at atomweight. Neither woman was able to mount any offence in the many clinch battles throughout the right, but Hui’s superior striking allowed her to repeatedly score with combinations of hooks and uppercuts. That was enough to impress the judges, and all three scored the fight in her favour.

Also in the atomweight division, Mizuki Furuse (1-1-0) notched her first pro win in impressive fashion by knocking out Madoka Ishibashi (0-1-0). It was Ishibashi who struck first with an early takedown, but Furuse swept into top position and worked from Ishibashi’s guard. Ishibashi tied her up and the referee stood the fighters back up. Seconds later, Furuse landed a crushing left high kick that floored Ishibashi and ended the fight at the 1:59 mark.

Opening up the card was a 43kg amateur bout between 12-year-old Momo Shimizu, a training partner of Deep Jewels champion and Invicta FC contender Mizuki Inoue, and 24-year-old Momoko Yamazaki. While the fight booking sparked controversy among North American MMA media due to Shimizu’s age, she steamrolled her much older opponent tonight. After taking Yamazaki down, Shimizu attacked with rear-naked choke attempts throughout the first round. She choked Yamazaki unconscious just before the bell sounded, and officially took home a technical submission win at the 2:59 mark.


“New talent came to this event and Reina came back after her major fight for Rizin,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki noted backstage after the event. “There were lots of finishes and it was a good event. American media blamed us for the debut of a 12-year-old, but see how that went? Look at that talent. We had many good fights and I give the event 100 [out of 100].

“Our next event will be in August and we will see four new talents,” Saeki added. “[Ayaka] Hamasaki and [Mina] Kurobe will fight abroad, and that means that our fighters are being scouted. Sakakibara said that he needs [Saori] Ishioka vs Kanna [Asakura] in order to determine who will be in the Rizin tournament from Deep Jewels. So I think that fight will happen in August.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 16 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)