Two Women's Title Bouts Official For Pancrase 341 On March 31A total of four women’s bouts including two championship fights are now official for Pancrase 341, which takes place on March 31st in Tokyo, Japan. Flyweight Queen of Pancrase Takayo Hashi puts her title on the line against undefeated 20-year-old challenger Honoka Shigeta, who is 3-0 in Pancrase.

Also set for Pancrase 341 is the inaugural Atomweight Queen of Pancrase tournament final between Satomi “Sarami” Takano and Sayako Fujita. In non-title flyweight bouts, Emiko “Fujin” Raika rematches Shizuka Sugiyama in Sugiyama’s Pancrase debut, and Nori takes on Fumika Watanabe.


Hashi (19-8-1) transitioned to Pancrase in 2018 after losing her Deep Jewels bantamweight title and went 2-2 in her first two Pancrase bouts as a flyweight. In October 2021, she captured the Flyweight Queen of Pancrase title with a five-round Unanimous Decision win against Nori, and then repeated that feat this past April by defeating Nori once again in a rematch.

Shigeta (3-0-0) is still very young in her MMA career, but she has made a strong impact in just three fights for Pancrase. After debuting in April with a decision victory, Shigeta picked up a first-round submission win in August and then secured her title shot by defeating former championship contender Raika at Pancrase 338 in November.

“This is a fight after my one-year absence, but I know I will defend my belt,” Hashi said during today’s Pancrase 341 press conference. “I will use all of my power to fight. I have fought for Pancrase since 2018 and I have a long history with it. I want to show that my willpower has come from that history in this fight. She showed improvement in her last fight, and I feel that she is aggressive and has good training, but I’m more of an all-around MMA fighter than her. It’s not comparable. I will not lose.”

“I will take the belt and be a main attraction on March 31st,” Shigeta said. “I will break her history with my young power. I know that she became a champion for a reason, but I will take her all.”

Takayo Hashi and Honoka Shigeta
Champion Takayo Hashi (left) and challenger Honoka Shigeta (right).


Former Shooto champion Takano (18-14-0) debuted for Pancrase during the opening round of the inaugural Queen of Pancrase title tournament in December and defeated Zenny Huang to advance on to the championship final. The 12-year veteran brings a significant experience advantage into next month’s title fight as she looks to become the first female atomweight champion in Pancrase.

Fujita (8-2-0) brought a strong four-fight winning streak into her Pancrase debut in late 2019 and she has since gone 4-1 under the Pancrase banner. Her lone defeat came via second-round submission against the aforementioned Huang at Pancrase 330, but Fujita won both of her fights in 2023 including a razor-thin Split Decision verdict against Mei Yamaguchi in their tournament semi-final bout.

“I’m glad to be back here and I will win the belt on March 31st,” Takano said. “I think she is good at aggression and stamina, but that’s it. I think this belt will prove my quality as a fighter. I want to achieve that by myself. My power is small, but I want to show that I can win.”

“I finally fight for a title,” Fujita said. “I will win this fight with tenacity. She is good at tactics, but I am okay to avoid her game. She did the same pattern in her last fight and so that did not change my impression of her and my training is the same. I want to defend the Pancrase belt as many times as possible. She helped me earlier in my career and this is my chance to show my improvement to her.”

Satomi Takano and Sayako Fujita
Satomi Takano (left) and Sayako Fujita (right).


Raika (13-10-1, 1 NC) has been a flyweight contender for Pancrase for more than five years and her time with the promotion dates back to her fourth pro MMA fight in 2015. The 48-year-old won two of her three fights this past year, with both wins coming against debuting fighters, and dropped a decision to Shigeta in their number one contender’s fight at Pancrase 338.

Sugiyama (21-7-1) debuted at the inaugural Jewels event in 2008 and went on to become one of the most popular and well-known fighters on the Jewels and Deep Jewels rosters in the years since. In 2014, she defeated Raika at the year-end Deep: “Dream Impact” event. Sugiyama has not fought since May 2022 when she was defeated in the Deep Jewels Flyweight Grand Prix Final. She has remained active with commentary work for Rizin FF and now makes her long-awaited return to competition.

“Thank you for inviting me to compete at the 30-year anniversary event,” Raika said. “She beat me easily nine years ago, but I want to show my current power. I only think about winning.”

“I want to show a really good fight for my first Pancrase appearance,” Sugiyama said. “I want the belt. I watched Emi Fujno wearing her belt and it was cool for me to see. I am coming back after a long break and I want to have an impressive performance. Raika improved as an MMA fighter and I expect to have to find another way to win this time.”

Emiko Raika and Shizuka Sugiyama
Emiko Raika (left) and Shizuka Sugiyama (right).


Former two-time Pancrase title challenger Nori (6-6-1) faces Watanabe (0-1-0) in other flyweight action on the card. While her success in Pancrase has been stifled, Nori has won all four of her Deep Jewels fights since mid-2016. She now looks to transfer that success from outside of Pancrase over to the long-running promotion when she faces Watanabe, who took Raika to a competitive Split Decision in her debut at Pancrase 331.

“I want to show my type of fight because I want to win the title in the future,” Nori said. “I fight against a younger opponent for the first time, but I will crush her. I didn’t train with [sister and former Pancrase champion] Karen recently, but I felt her improvement and I want to show my improvement to her.”

“I changed my gym and rebuilt my MMA skills from the basics, and I want to show that,” Watanabe said. “I want an entertaining fight and I am aiming for a knockout this time. My husband is an MMA fighter for Shooto and we co-operate together.”

Nori and Fumika Watanabe
Nori (left) and Fumika Watanabe (right).