Rin Nakai, Machi Fukuda Choke Out Opponents At Deep Jewels 40For the tenth consecutive time, reigning Deep Jewels Flyweight Champion Rin Nakai secured a stoppage victory in her fight tonight at Deep Jewels 40 in Tokyo, Japan. Nakai finished top contender Aoi Kuriyama with a second-round rear-naked choke in tonight’s featured flyweight main event.

The Deep Jewels 40 co-main event ended in similar fashion, as unbeaten prospect Machi Fukuda upset Namiko “Hime” Kawabata at strawweight. Fukuda choked Kawabata unconscious with just five seconds remaining in the first round, spoiling Kawabata’s return to the strawweight division.


The opening round of the flyweight headliner between Nakai (26-2-1) and Kuriyama (4-5-1) was largely uneventful, as the fighters circled for prolonged periods and offered little offence, but things picked up in round two. Nakai countered left hands from Kuriyama with body kicks, then clinched and followed up with knees to Kuriyama’s midsection. She attempted a standing guillotine choke and then pulled Kuriyama down to the ground. Nakai was able to secure a rear-naked choke and Kuriyama, who refused to tap out, was rendered unconscious at the 4:31 mark of the second round.

Tonight’s win extended Nakai’s finishing streak to ten as she tries to get back on the UFC’s radar in hopes of returning to the promotion. She has clearly established herself as the top female flyweight in Japan and her next move will be an important one.

“I wanted to get ten consecutive finishes, so I am glad that I could finish it,” Nakai stated backstage following her win. “In the first round, I tried not to get hit once because my opponent was countering and she wanted to exchange strong strikes. Valentina [Shevchenko] came to watch Paraestra Kashiwa’s fighters in the Future King Tournament [earlier in the day], but she left the venue before I fought. I want to know how she felt about my performance.

“[Shevchenko] is the very best talent and I have respect for her,” Nakai added. “I want to fight her, but my intent is not rude and I admit that she is the best in the world. I can possibly fight in another organisation if [management company] Iridium wants. We are waiting on an offer.”

Rin Nakai Victorious At Deep Jewels 40
A victorious Rin Nakai following her win at Deep Jewels 40.


Proving that the hype behind her is real, Fukuda (2-0-0) scored a big victory over the fast-rising star Kawabata (4-2-0) in the strawweight co-headliner.

Fukuda looked to take the fight to the ground early on, but Kawabata stayed on her feet and so Fukuda transitioned to back control. She dragged Kawabata down and moved to side control. Kawabata fought her way back to half-guard, only for Fukuda to pass directly to mount. That forced Kawabata to give up her back and Fukuda immediately locked on a rear-naked choke. Kawabata tried to escape by throwing a series of punches behind her head, but they failed to cause any significant damage to Fukuda’s face. She held on to the choke and Kawabata passed out at the 4:55 mark of round one.

“I went for a takedown immediately when the fight started and succeeded,” Fukuda said backstage. “I had a dream about finishing with a rear-naked choke and it became a reality. My rear-naked choke setup was a tougher one, and that’s my mistake, but I had confidence in my ability to beat her. I want to fight for Rizin. I watch the events on TV and I would like to fight there.”

Machi Fukuda Victorious At Deep Jewels 40
A victorious Machi Fukuda following her win at Deep Jewels 40.


Earlier on the card, Hikaru Aono (9-6-0) got back on the winning track by outpointing Kate “Lotus” Oyama (3-5-0) in their featured 49kg super atomweight bout.

Oyama fought off one takedown attempt early in the fight, but Aono got her down on her second try. She moved to side control and worked for an arm-triangle choke. Oyama defended for a full minute and Aono looked instead for an armbar late in the round. After a timeout in round two when Oyama was poked in the eye, Aono scored another takedown. Both women landed punches on the ground and Aono pushed Oyama’s head up against the base of the corner post. Oyama was able to sweep into top position, however, and she landed some decent punches from the top before the end of the fight.

Judges Fukuda and Hashimoto scored the fight 20-18, while judge Uchida had it even at 19-19 and awarded his Must Decision to Aono for a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Aono, which dated back to her June 2021 atomweight grand prix final matchup against current champion Saori Oshima.


In one of two 44.5kg microweight bouts on the card, Akari Kamise (1-0-0) made a successful pro debut by defeating Momoko Yamazaki (3-4-0). In round one, Yamazaki had some success with leg kicks, but Kamise used feints to set up takedowns and she closed out the round with punches from top position. Most of the second round was contested in clinches, where both fighters landed knees to each other’s legs. Kamise landed two right hooks and a trio of body kicks late in the round to seal the win in her favour. Scores were 20-18 across the board for Kamise, who earned a Unanimous Decision win.

Teen prospect Eru Takebayashi (3-3-0, 1 NC) bounced back after a close decision defeat in September by scoring a Unanimous Decision win over Hitomi Taniyama (1-1-0) at strawweight. Takebayashi dropped Taniyama with a body kick in round one and she landed punches before Taniyama swept into top position. In the second stanza, Takebayashi landed a right cross and a head kick before taking Taniyama’s back. She landed punches and tried for a rear-naked choke on two occasions. Final scores were 20-18 twice and 20-17 for Takebayashi, who took the much-needed win.

In what was intended to be a bantamweight bout, Tae “Te-a” Murayama (3-3-0) cruised to a one-sided Unanimous Decision victory over Sayaka “Juicy” Hishinuma (0-4-0), who sustained a two-point deduction after missing weight. Murayama landed jabs and leg kicks in round one while staying outside of Hishinuma’s range. This continued in round one, as Murayama gauged distance effectively and landed more jabs and kicks to Hishinuma’s lead leg. The scorecards were academic, and all three judges had the fight 20-16 for Murayama.

Winning for the first time since her bout at Jewels: “19th Ring” in May 2012, Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki (7-10-0) took a Unanimous Decision victory against Yuko “Pochan Z” Matsuura (1-3-0) in their open-weight bout. Aoki landed numerous knees to Matsuura’s body early in the fight and then attempted a mounted armbar after taking her down. It was more of the same in round two, and the knees to the body had an effect on a fatiguing Matsuura. All three judges scored the fight 20-18 in favour of Aoki for a clear-cut win.

Kyoka “Chibisai” Minagawa (2-3-0) secured her second straight win in 44.5kg microweight action against Koyuki (0-1-0). Minagawa controlled most of the opening round on the ground, where she held mount and later threatened with a North-South Choke. After a clinch in round two, Minagawa threw Koyuki to the mat and took her back. She used punches to set up a rear-naked choke. Koyuki refused to tap, so she was choked unconscious at the 2:03 mark of the second round.

Opening up the professional portion of the card, Mana Akagi (1-1-0) spoiled the pro debut of Haruka “Boss” Suzuki (0-1-0) at flyweight. Suzuki sprawled out of a takedown in round one and took Akagi’s back, but Akagi was able to shake her off and she punched from the top while Suzuki hunted for a leg submission. Akagi landed hammerfists and attempted a kimura and an armbar later in the round. After taking Suzuki down with a harai goshi throw in round two, Akagi punched from the top and worked for a keylock from side control. Suzuki’s defence was solid, but Akagi switched her grip to a kimura and wrenched back on Suzuki’s arm until referee Takashi Hashimoto finally intervened for a technical submission stoppage at the 4:47 mark of round two.

In amateur strawweight action, Sarah (3-2-0 amateur) halted a two-fight losing skid by defeating Momoka Yoshikawa (1-7-0 amateur). Sarah landed two straight rights and a left hook in round one while fighting off Yoshikawa’s clinch attempts. Yoshikawa failed with a harai goshi throw attempt in round two, which allowed Sarah to take her back. She secured a rear-naked choke and Yoshikawa tapped out at the 1:54 mark of round two.


“Maybe Rin [Nakai] trained for striking in the first round, but I am curious why she didn’t go for a takedown earlier,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki said backstage following the event. “Machi [Fukuda] scored an upset tonight. [Seika] Izawa first introduced Machi to Deep Jewels because they grew up in the same area. New talent like Machi continues to rise up, and we can invite foreign fighters to compete now, so maybe Machi can face a foreign opponent next.”

Full play-by-play for the Deep Jewels 40 card can be found here.