Seika Izawa Discusses Future Goals Following Deep Jewels Title WinDeep Jewels crowned a new strawweight champion on Sunday when Seika Izawa submitted Miki Motono in the co-main event at Deep Jewels 33. In a short time, Izawa has quickly become one of the most talented fighters on the Deep Jewels roster, and her title victory was especially impressive.

Now 3-0, the skilled grappler is working hard to develop her striking so that she can become a more complete martial artist. Izawa hopes to one day represent Japan on a larger stage in MMA, and she discussed her training and some future plans with following today’s title victory. When you were preparing for today’s title fight, did Kazunori Yokota help to develop a strategy for you to use that you were focused on implementing in the fight?

Seika Izawa: The armbar was one of my potential goals, but I thought about many submissions. In the fight, I wanted the armbar to come naturally, so I used my ground punches to set it up and then the armbar finished her. How has your training gone at Yokota’s MMA gym, K-Clann? What skills have you improved upon, and which area are you working on the most?

Izawa: I have improved my striking in order to become more versatile, but I need to continue to get even better as a striker. I want to be able to KO my opponents, and my goal is to become a complete fighter. It seems like you often have a smile on your face when competing. Is that part of your mental preparation when you’re getting ready for a fight?

Izawa: I do often smile when I’m training and competing because it comes naturally. However, when I get tired, you can definitely see that on my face as well. Now that you are champion, what are your thoughts about your next fight? I noticed that you watched Rizin 28 at the Tokyo Dome, so would you be interested in fighting for Rizin?

Izawa: I don’t have any commitments, but I do want to travel abroad to fight in MMA. I am open to any organisation, including Bellator and ONE. I will decide after I have received an offer.


Saori Oshima and Seika Izawa
New Deep Jewels champions Saori Oshima (left) and Seika Izawa (right). When they competed at Deep: Tokyo Impact yesterday, your brothers were not quite able to get a win, but how do you feel about their potential in MMA?

Izawa: They have just started out, so there is a chance that they will be defeated, but I think that they have even more potential than I do. Did you watch Kanako Murata’s UFC fight earlier today? If so, what are your thoughts on it and on the size and strength of her opponent, Virna Jandiroba? Murata also has a strong grappling background, so do you see similarities between the two of you?

Izawa: I did watch her fight, but I don’t see myself as similar to her because she has such a strong body and I am smaller. I don’t think that I need to do more weight training because I already develop muscle naturally through my MMA training. Competing in a world-class [UFC] fight can’t be easy, but I will continue to push myself until I am on that world-class level. What is your impression of UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas?

Izawa: Rose is a high-level striker. I feel that I can grapple well against fighters on her level, but I know that I still need to get better at striking when I watch someone like her. Whom do you regard as your ideal MMA fighter?

Izawa: Khabib Nurmagomedov is my ideal fighter, and I want to beat him someday! (laughs) Do you have a message for your international fans?

Izawa: Please remember Seika Izawa’s name. I am strong!



(Top Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)