Saori Oshima Leads Atomweight GP Winners At Deep Jewels 32Following a disappointing setback in December, Saori Oshima rebounded in a big way tonight at Deep Jewels 32 in Tokyo, Japan. Oshima quickly submitted Emi Tomimatsu in the night’s main event, and she now joins three others in the semi-finals of the Deep Jewels atomweight grand prix.

In tonight’s co-main event, Si Woo Park, who upset Oshima at Deep Jewels 31, cruised to a Unanimous Decision victory over Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro. Hikaru Aono posted an equally decisive win over Emi Sato tonight, and she joins Park and Oshima in the next round of the atomweight title tournament.


Oshima (4-2-0), who already holds the Deep Women’s Microweight Championship, continued her pursuit of a second title with a very impressive win over the veteran Tomimatsu (15-18-0) tonight. Oshima used her jab to set up an early takedown, and she quickly took Tomimatsu’s back on the ground. Tomimatsu fought off a rear-naked choke attempt, but Oshima switched to a kimura and that forced Tomimatsu to tap out just 45 seconds into the fight.

“I lost my last fight, so I went for the submission this time,” Oshima commented briefly backstage following her win. “I will train hard in my striking and submissions for the next fight.”


Park (5-2-0) had little trouble in her quarterfinal bout with Oshiro (2-3-0), and an especially strong second round sealed a Unanimous Decision victory in her favour. After an early exchange of leg kicks, Park chased after Oshiro with punches and Oshiro responded by taking her down. Park worked back to her feet against the cage and briefly held Oshiro in a front choke. Oshiro broke free and landed a body kick, and she worked to take Park down in the final minute.

Round two was all Park, and the South Korean prospect was aggressive early on with jab-cross combos and knees in a clinch. She followed with a body kick and a straight right hand before backing Oshiro up with dirty boxing in a clinch. Oshiro fell and Park mounted her on the ground. She took Oshiro’s back late in the fight and landed hammerfists to the sides of her face until the bell.

Judges Wada, Toyonaga, Tazawa, Matsumiya and Fukuda all scored the fight 20-17 for Park, who advanced to the grand prix semi-finals with her fifth straight victory.

“I have a good right hook, but I could not show that tonight. Next time, I want to show it,” Park said backsage after her victory. “I regret that I am still immature as a fighter, but I will win this tournament.”


The third atomweight grand prix quarterfinal bout, between Aya Murakami (1-0-0) and Sakura Mori (3-1-0, 1 NC), was cancelled yesterday when Mori failed to make weight and was subsequently taken to hospital. Murakami was granted a bye in the tournament and she will move on to the semi-finals in May.

“I could not fight this time, but I will prepare for the next event,” Murakami stated following tonight’s event. “My first tournament fight will be in the semi-finals, but I will do my best.”


Rounding out the tournament bouts tonight, Aono (7-4-0), who challenged unsuccessfully for the Deep Jewels atomweight title in October, moved one step closer to another shot at the belt by defeating Emi Sato (4-6-0), who had submitted Aono in the pair’s first meeting in late 2017.

Aono spent all of round one striking from top position in Sato’s half-guard while preventing Sato from getting back to her feet. Sato could do little more than block punches with her hand as she was pinned down on the mat. In the second round, Aono secured another takedown and she stood over Sato while landing punches until Sato grabbed on to her arm in search of an armbar. Aono escaped and moved from side control to mount, where she attacked Sato’s body with punches and attempted a late-fight arm-triangle choke.

Judges Fukuda, Toyonaga and Tazawa scored the fight 20-17, while judges Uematsu and Wada had it slightly closer at 20-18. All five saw it for Aono, who took the well-deserved Unanimous Decision win.

“I was not able to show off everything that I had trained, but I hope to do that next time,” Aono said backstage. “I was calm today and I was able to get my revenge [for the past loss].”


Undefeated rising star Seika Izawa, who was originally slated to face Miki Motono in a rematch tonight for the Deep Jewels Strawweight Championship, instead competed in a quick and decisive grappling match with Megumi Sugimoto after Motono was forced to withdraw from the event due to a training injury. Izawa scored two takedowns in the opening seconds of the match, and the second takedown led to a quick transition to Sugimoto’s back. Within seconds, Izawa secured a tight rear-naked choke and referee Ryogaku Wada called for the technical submission stoppage at the 58-second mark.

“I got the finish [tonight] and I will win my title fight,” Izawa said while addressing the crowd after her victory. “My brothers will also soon debut in MMA, so please follow them as well.”

Strawweight champ Motono also spoke to the crowd at the conclusion of the grappling match, and she apologised for having to withdraw from tonight’s event. A torn ligament was cited as the reason. Motono said that she felt that she had improved since her first fight with Izawa – a non-title bout that Izawa won – and she looks forward to showing off her striking in the championship rematch in May.


Elsewhere on tonight’s Deep Jewels 32 card, Yukari Nabe (9-3-1) handed Mikiko “Mikko Nirvana” Shimizu (2-1-0) a Unanimous Decision loss in a flyweight matchup. Nabe stunned Shimizu with a right hook very early in the fight and she looked to finish with a rear-naked choke on the ground. Shimizu stood back up, only to be thrown down again and Nabe landed punches from mount and back control. After Shimizu countered an early takedown with a leglock attempt in round two, she spent the remainder of the round trying unsuccessfully to take Nabe down. Nabe stuffed each takedown and landed hammerfists en route to the decision victory with scores of 20-18 and 20-17 twice.

Shoko Fujita (1-0-0) made a successful pro debut with an extremely lopsided Unanimous Decision win over veteran Yuko “Amiba” Oya (9-9-0), who missed weight for the strawweight fight and was penalised with a Yellow Card. Oya’s face had turned bright red midway through round one as a result of Fujita repeatedly scoring with hard jabs. Fujita fought off Oya’s takedown attempts and scored one of her own, which allowed her to land even more punches on the ground. This continued in round two, and Oya was unable to get the fight to the ground. She absorbed punches and hammerfists to the face until the final bell, and scores were 30-25 across the board for Fujita.

In a 55kg catchweight bout, Namiko “Hime” Kawabata (1-0-0) kicked off her pro career with a victory over popular prospect Kate “Lotus” Oyama (1-1-0). The first round was a good one for Oyama, who landed knees to the body and threw Kawabata to the mat with a harai goshi. Round two was a much different story, and Kawabata dominated the action on the feet. She landed numerous jabs and leg kicks, then wobbled Oyama with a left hook in the late stages of the round. Scores were 19-19 across the board, but all three judges awarded their Must Decision to Kawabata, who earned the Unanimous Decision win.

Karin Horii eked out a narrow Split Decision victory over Momoka Yoshikawa in a 50kg amateur MMA bout on tonight’s preliminary card. Horii countered a Yoshikawa takedown with a guillotine choke in the opening round, but Yoshikawa escaped into mount. Horii powered out to her feet and took Yoshikawa down late in the round, but it was Yoshikawa who had success with takedowns in round two. Horii was able to reverse one and she finally scored a takedown of her own, which led to Horii trying to finish the fight with a leg scissor choke. The bout went to the scorecards and all three judges had it even at 19-19. One awarded his Must Decision to Yoshikawa, while the remaining two both sided with Horii.

Opening up the preliminary card, Sara and Rajina fought to a Majority Draw in a 53kg amateur kickboxing bout. Rajina fared well with kicks in the opening stanza, but Sara was the superior puncher. She used her jab to set up right hands repeatedly in the second round and the short fight went to the scorecards. One judge had the fight 20-19 for Sara, while the remaining two both saw it even at 19-19 for a Majority Draw.


Deep boss Shigeru Saeki spoke extensively after the event about some of the challenges that led up to tonight’s show and his plans for the next card, Deep Jewels 33, on May 5th.

“[Miki] Motono got injured, two fighters were overweight and I was not feeling well, so it was not easy to do this event,” Saeki said. “Next week is the Deep Future King Tournament, so things are busy. Sakura [Mori] went in the ambulance due to hyperpnea and she got out of the hospital yesterday. We need to think about [her being] overweight and what to do.

“May 5th [Deep Jewels 33] will have the final of this tournament and the Izawa vs Motono rematch will be at that event, too,” Saeki added. “I’ve thought about having a [tournament] reserve fighter in case of an unforeseen situation. With the COVID-19 situation, it costs more to hold an event. I want to bring in foreign fighters for the May event, but that is currently hard to do. [Si Woo] Park has stayed here since December and I feel bad for her that she could not return home to her country.”

Full play-by-play for the Deep Jewels 32 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)