Syuri Kondo Defeats Kinberly Novaes, Wins Title At Pancrase 287Krush kickboxing champion Syuri Kondo captured her first mixed martial arts title in impressive fashion tonight at Pancrase 287 in Tokyo, Japan. Kondo remained unbeaten by defeating Brazilian standout Kinberly Novaes in the co-main event to become the Strawweight Queen of Pancrase.

Novaes’s best success came in the opening round, but Kondo wore her down with dozens of knees as the fight progressed and she cruised to a clear-cut decision win. Elsewhere, Ayaka Miura submitted Thaiane Souza, but the bout was ruled a No Contest due to Miura missing weight.


Kondo (5-0-0) used her jab to try to slow down Novaes’s (9-3-0) early aggression, but Novaes scored with kicks and punches that led to a clinch against the cage. After separating, the fighters traded combinations and knees to the body. Kondo connected with a hard right cross and an elbow, but Novaes responded with more knees as she pinned Kondo against the fence. The fighters battled in a clinch until the bell and Novaes took the round on all three judges’ scorecards.

From that point forward, the title fight clearly belonged to Kondo. She landed combinations of punches and elbows in round two and punished Novaes with knees to the body. This continued in round three and Kondo countered Novaes’s early kicks with powerful knees while holding Novaes against the cage. Novaes began to slow down and Kondo took a 29-28 lead into the championship rounds.

The final ten minutes were contested almost entirely in the clinch and Kondo landed knee after knee to Novaes’s head and body. A cut opened on Novaes’s cheek and she was unable to get her back off of the cage. Kondo scored with kick-punch combos early in the final round and she resumed her assault with knees in the clinch. She trapped Novaes in front headlocks while landing knees and threatened with a standing Brabo choke in the dying seconds of the fight.

All three cageside judges scored the fight 49-45 for Kondo, who kept her unblemished record intact and captured her first title in MMA with the victory. All five of the veteran striker’s pro MMA bouts have taken place under the Pancrase banner during the past 13 months, and she remains focused on becoming a UFC champion in the future.

“I am more confident now after getting this win over a fighter who TKOed [UFC title challenger Jéssica] Andrade,” Kondo said while speaking with backstage. “I sprawled well and did not let her take me down, and I also won the striking battles tonight as well. I want to participate at the next UFC event in Japan. I need to fight for the UFC ASAP.”

Winner: Syuri Kondo by Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45) after five rounds. She improves to 5-0-0 and becomes the Strawweight Queen of Pancrase Champion.


Earlier on the card, Miura (4-1-0, 1 NC) secured a slick submission finish against Souza (4-3-0, 1 NC), but she was denied a victory on the official record due to coming in over the strawweight limit during Saturday’s weigh-ins. Miura was declared ineligible to win tonight, but she nevertheless put forth a solid showing in the brief fight.

Souza struck first with a quick combination and a knee in the opening seconds, and she fought off a takedown attempt. Miura walked her down with punches and secured a clinch against the cage. Souza retreated after eating a hard right hand and Miura resumed her forward march. She took Souza down with a headlock throw and landed on top in the scarf hold position. Within seconds, Miura locked on a scarf hold armlock and Souza tapped out at the 3:24 mark of the opening round.

Due to Miura’s inability to make weight, the fight was officially declared a No Contest. A visibly upset Miura hastily exited the cage after the fight had concluded.

Result: No Contest (Miura Missed Weight) at 3:24 of round one. Miura moves to 4-1-0, 1 NC, while Souza is now 4-3-0, 1 NC.



(Photo Credit: Bout Review)