Reina Miura Cruises To Victory In Deep Jewels 28 HeadlinerSkilled judoka “King” Reina Miura made a triumphant return to the Deep Jewels cage tonight at Deep Jewels 28 in Tokyo, Japan. Miura, who had missed weight for a planned Deep Jewels 26 bout in October, steamrolled Nitchanan “Andre The Rocket” Thubtrai in tonight’s featherweight headliner.

Deep Jewels 28 also featured the semi-final round of the inaugural Deep Jewels 44.5kg microweight title tournament. In one bout, Suwanan “Amp The Rocket” Boonsorn quickly submitted Emi Sato for a second time, while Mizuki Furuse outpointed Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada in the second semi-final.


Miura (12-3-0) put Thubtrai (0-1-0) on the defensive right away with heavy punches and leg kicks before fending off a takedown attempt. Thubtrai was unable to mount any offence on the feet and Miura repeatedly scored with punches and knees. She took Thubtrai down and quickly moved to a high mount, where she rained down punches and hammerfists from the top until Yasuhiro Tazawa finally waved off the lopsided bout. The official time of the TKO stoppage came at the 3:29 mark of round one.

“I got to show a new ‘King Reina’ today,” Miura said backstage following her win. “I don’t know which is the best weight class for me, but [bantamweight] is where I want to fight and where foreign fighters are strongest. I wanted to finish the fight standing, but my opponent came near and so I took her down. My corner called for an armbar, but I did not want to get a submission today. [Kazunori] Yokota’s K-Clann gym has really good fighters and hard training for me. Yokota taught me to eat natural fruits when dieting and that has suited me well. This year, I won’t call for [a fight in] Rizin, but I want Rizin to need me for a good fight.”


Boonsorn (5-3-0), who previously submitted Sato (4-5-0) in 34 seconds at Deep Jewels 23, needed only slightly longer in order to get the victory tonight. Boonsorn immediately clinched and took Sato down in the opening seconds. She moved to knee-on-belly position and briefly struck from the top before spinning into a quick armbar. Sato briefly held on before tapping out at the 49-second mark. With tonight’s win, Boonsorn advances on to the Deep Jewels microweight title tournament final.

“The fight went as I had planned and I wanted to finish it on the ground,” Boonsorn stated backstage. “I trained knee-on-belly in my BJJ training so that I could show it in my fight. I welcome her at this weight. I am 46kg today and I think that 46-47kg is where I can perform at my best. [Other finalist] Mizuki [Furuse] is not a weak opponent. I will break down her skills with my team. I also want to avenge my losses to Ayaka [Hamasaki] and Miyuu [Yamamoto] in the future.”


Furuse (7-6-0) had to work hard for her spot in the tournament final, but she earned it with a Unanimous Decision victory over 15-year veteran Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada (17-11-3). After an uneventful opening two minutes, Furuse landed leg kicks and a combination that prompted Tamada to shoot in for a takedown. Furuse balance on one leg and fought off Tamada’s takedowns for some time, but Tamada ultimately got the fight to the mat. She postured up with punches from the top and Furuse countered with two armbar attempts before the bell.

The second round was much more one-sided, as Furuse stuffed takedowns and landed punches on the feet before reversing a takedown soon after. Tamada returned to her feet once, but Furuse reversed a second takedown and she landed some hard punches to the sides of Tamada’s head after taking her back and flattening her out. Tamada defended well as Furuse alternated between punches and rear-naked choke attempts, and she also escaped from a quick armbar from Furuse late in the fight, but it was not enough to seal a victory. Scores were 20-18 twice and 19-19 (Must Decision: Furuse), with Furuse taking the win and advancing to the microweight championship final.

“I needed to put more effort into recovery and I am 47-48kg today,” Furuse noted after her victory. “I train with men daily, so it was unexpected when [Tamada] took me down in round one. She initiated the action first and I was reacting later. That is something that I need to change. [Boonsorn] is super strong. She is my target in the future, but that future is near.”


Earlier on the card, Miki Motono (4-1-0) overcame a slow start and finished Pang “Nopang The Rocket” Kanjana (0-1-0) late in the opening round of their strawweight bout. Motono stuck to leg kicks from a distance in the early stages of round one as Kanjana threw right hands. One bloodied the nose of Motono, who responded with more leg kicks and a takedown. On the ground, Motono was in complete control and she effortlessly moved to side control and then to mount. Kanjana rolled over and gave up her back, and Motono landed unanswered punches to the sides of her head until the fight was waved off at the 4:27 mark of round one.

In 49kg action, popular Deep Jewels mainstay Nanaka “Nijika” Kawamura (3-5-0) halted a three-fight losing skid with a quick TKO victory over Mika Sakamoto (0-2-0). Kawamura was very aggressive with her punches right from the opening bell and she backed Sakamoto up against the cage. Sakamoto responded with a takedown and ground and pound, but Kawamura scrambled back up to her feet. She rushed at Sakamoto with a flurry of punches that forced Sakamoto to retreat to the cage wall again. When Sakamoto turned her head to the side as Kawamura continued to throw punches, the referee intervened and stopped the fight at the 2:56 mark of round one. Post-fight, Kawamura spoke about focusing on making this year much better than 2019, and she thanked teammate Shizuka Sugiyama for her congratulations after tonight’s win.

Sakura Mori (2-0-0) kept her unbeaten record intact with a hard-fought Unanimous Decision win over Otoha Nagao (2-2-0) in an atomweight bout. Mori overcame early body kicks from Nagao and punched her way into a clinch that allowed Mori to take the fight to the mat. She mounted Nagao and locked on an arm-triangle choke, then returned to mount and rained down punches when Nagao refused to submit to the choke. Mori threatened with more submission attempts late in the lopsided round, but Nagao defended well and she had better success in a back-and-forth round two on the feet. Mori got Nagao down once in the second round, but Nagao repeatedly scored with body kicks and fared well in the striking exchanges. Scores were 19-18 twice and 19-19 (Must Decision: Mori) for Mori, who admitted after the fight that she was concerned she may have let a victory slip away.

Elsewhere, Chisato Wada (1-1-0) made short work of Tomoko Inoue (0-1-0) in their brief strawweight matchup. After an early combination from Inoue, Wada responded with punches to the body. Seconds later, she landed a left uppercut that dropped Inoue and referee Tatsuro Nagase immediately dove in to wave off the fight. The official time of the TKO stoppage came at the 1:06 mark of round one.

Opening up the card, Moe Sasaki (1-0-0) made a successful pro debut with a clear-cut Unanimous Decision victory over Sae Kokuho (0-4-0) in a microweight tournament reserve bout. Sasaki landed a hard combination early on and she used knees to the body to fend off takedown attempts from Kokuho. After Kokuho briefly held top position following a takedown reversal, the fight returned to the feet and Sasaki landed a hard right hand. In round two, Kokuho countered Sasaki’s strikes with flying guillotine choke attempts, but she was unable to secure a finish. The fighters traded strikes in the final minute and Sasaki landed knees and a combination before the bell. Scores were 20-18 across the board for Sasaki, who walked away with a convincing victory.


“This was just a two-hour event and it was our first time at this venue, but the audience size was the same as at Shinjuku FACE,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki stated after the event. “I could see Furuse’s improvements as well as Amp’s strength today. [Miki] Motono will next compete in a [strawweight] title fight. It will be an interim belt while the main title is held by Mizuki [Inoue]. Our next event will be at Korakuen Hall on May 6th and the microweight tournament final will be a part of it.”

Full play-by-play for all bouts on the Deep Jewels 28 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)