Shizuka Sugiyama, Hikaru Aono Earn Stoppage Wins At Deep Jewels 25Veteran contender Shizuka Sugiyama picked up a decisive victory tonight in the Deep Jewels 25 headliner at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan. Sugiyama dominated prospect Asami “Akaringo” Nakai en route to an impressive second-round submission finish in the night’s flyweight main event.

Sugiyama has not lost under the Deep Jewels banner in more than five years, and she is now one of the promotion’s top flyweights. Elsewhere at Deep Jewels 25, Hikaru Aono earned her second straight submission victory with a slick finish of Miyuki Furusawa in the atomweight co-feature.


Sugiyama (18-6-1) wasted no time in trying to take the fight to the mat, but Nakai (3-2-0) stayed on her feet early on and fired back with right hands. Undeterred, Sugiyama punched her way into a clinch and she took Nakai down into half-guard. Nakai countered with short punches from the bottom and she eventually exploded up to her feet when Sugiyama looked to set up an armbar. Sugiyama slammed her back down and closed out the round with punches, hammerfists and a heel hook attempt.

The fight returned to the mat early in round two after Sugiyama took Nakai down and she passed to mount soon after. Nakai attempted to scramble up to her feet, but Sugiyama hopped on her back and secured a tight rear-naked choke. Nakai held on and eventually broke Sugiyama’s grip. She briefly got back to her feet, only to be taken down again by Sugiyama, who moved to mount and methodically worked for an armbar. Sugiyama eventually secured the hold and wrenched back on Nakai’s arm, forcing Nakai to submit at the 4:04 mark of round two.

“I prepared for a three-round fight,” Sugiyama stated backstage following her win. “[Nakai] came to fight as well and I wanted to finish her with the choke. I made her lose stamina with the choke and she slowed down. That choke wasn’t taught to me by [husband Keita Nakamura], but if I had finished it my husband would’ve been happy. I want to rest but, whether in October or not, I want to fight again.”


Aono (5-2-0) closed the distance right away against Furusawa (1-3-0) and scored a headlock takedown into the scarf hold position. She kept Furusawa pinned there for quite some time and peppered her with punches to the face. Furusawa finally initiated a scramble, but Aono stayed on top and she worked from side control. When Furusawa briefly returned to her feet, Aono responded with another takedown and she got back to side control before the end of the round.

It was more of the same in round two after an early Aono takedown. She first worked for a top-side guillotine choke and then used punches to set up a move to side control. Seeing an opportunity, Aono took mount position and locked on an arm-triangle choke. Furusawa initially defended well, but Aono passed to the side and tightened the choke, which prompted Furusawa to finally tap out at the 3:53 mark of round two.


In a featured bout in the Deep Jewels minimumweight division, Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro (1-1-0) picked up her first pro win with a technical submission finish over Momoko Yamazaki (1-2-0). The fight began with an exchange of knees and Oshiro soon followed with leg kicks. Yamazaki punched her way into a clinch, but it was Oshiro who threw Yamazaki down to the mat and she briefly held mount position. Yamazaki escaped to her feet and she countered Oshiro’s knee strikes with a takedown that allowed her to land some ground and pound late in the round.

Yamazaki struck first with leg kicks in the second round and Oshiro tried to counter with a takedown. She wound up on the bottom, however, and quickly worked for an armbar. Oshiro wrenched back on the hold and Yamazaki shook her head to indicate that she did not want to submit, but referee Ryogaku Wada had seen enough and called for the technical submission finish at the 1:58 mark of round two.

“I am not satisfied with my performance,” Oshiro stated honestly backstage following the victory. “I did have a strategy, but I was too nervous to implement it. [Yamazaki] only landed right hands and so I am happy about that. Many people were watching this event from Okinawa and that is what made me nurvouus. [Satoko] Shinashi’s name is soon up for me [as an opponent]. I don’t think I’ll win with my current skill, but I need to prepare well and improve for that.”


Earlier on the card, Mao Ueda (1-1-0) scored her first pro win with an impressive stoppage of veteran Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki (6-10-0) in featherweight action. Aoki punched her way into an early clinch, but Ueda countered by throwing her to the mat and she landed punches from the top in the scarf hold position. Aoki scrambled up and tried for a takedown, but Ueda reversed it and she landed on top in mount. Aoki weathered the storm of punches and scrambled up to her feet once, but she was taken back down and Ueda returned to the scarf hold position again. She trapped Aoki in a scarf hold armlock and landed a series of punches to her face until the bout was stopped, giving Ueda the TKO victory at the 3:43 mark of round one.

In the lone kickboxing bout on the card, Pan “Kai” Hui outstruck long-time veteran “Jet” Izumi Noguchi en route to a convincing decision win. Hui’s punching combinations controlled the fight, as she effectively countered Noguchi’s knees and body kicks. Hui landed some of her best strikes in the final round, as she repeatedly backed Noguchi up with flurries of punches and counter right hooks. All three judges scored the bout 30-28 for Hui, who took the Unanimous Decision victory.

Tomoko Inoue put forth a solid showing in victory over Shoko Fujita in a two-round amateur MMA bout at 55kg. Inoue followed up on an early exchange of knees with a kick-punch combo that prompted Fujita to take her down. Inoue countered with an armbar, and she tightened the hold in the final 30 seconds, but Fujita made it to the bell. Inoue again threatened with an armbar after she was taken down in round two, but the fight returned to the feet and both women landed hard punches. Fujita connected with her best combination of the fight, but it was not enough to steal back a win and all three judges had it 20-18 for the winner by Unanimous Decision, Inoue.

Opening up the card, Rion Noda (1-0-0) narrowly edged out Otoha Nagao (1-1-0) in a 49kg matchup. Noda rushed forward with punches right away and Nagao countered with kicks before taking top position when Noda brought the fight to the mat. Noda attempted an armbar and a triangle choke, but Nagao escaped and stood up. Noda pulled guard and Nagao punished her with punches late in the round. Noda took Nagao down following an exchange of punches in round two. She locked on a tight armbar from mount, but Nagao refused to submit. The fight returned to the feet and both fighters landed flurries of punches and body kicks. All three judges scored the fight even at 19-19, but Must Decisions required that a winner be named. One sided with Nagao, while the remaining two favoured Noda, who eked out the Split Decision victory.


“Our October 22nd Korakuen Hall event is already announced and we may have a December event in Osaka,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki stated after the event. “We have two champions in the UFC, Mizuki Inoue and Ji Yeon Kim, so people’s passion and interest can be felt here. Small venues like this have good qualities like the short distance from home for most fighters. Osaka will cost a lot, but I want the challenge. I want to make a 57kg belt as well, but too much planning may lead to Rizin saying something. This was not a great card tonight, but Shizuka saved it.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Deep Jewels 25 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)