Seika Izawa Captures Third Championship At Deep Jewels 44 In TokyoSeika Izawa proved once again that she is one of the best female MMA fighters in the world by capturing her third championship title tonight at Deep Jewels 44 in Tokyo, Japan. Izawa submitted Si Yoon “Sankaru” Park with a second-round ninja choke to claim the Deep Jewels atomweight title.

Izawa, who also holds the Deep Jewels Strawweight Championship and Rizin FF Women’s Super Atomweight Championship, threatened with multiple submissions before finishing Park early in round two. Deep Jewels 44 featured several finishes including a brutal KO by Eun Bi “Libby” Cho.


Izawa (13-0-0) was unsuccessful with her first takedown attempt of the fight, but she clinched with Park (6-4-0) and swept out her Korean foe’s leg. When Park tried to stand, Izawa trapped her in a Brabo choke and she used it to pull Park back down to the mat. Park was in some trouble, but she managed to escape into Izawa’s guard and Izawa soon locked on a triangle choke. She let it go and landed an upkick to Park’s face, which Park protested, but the fight carried on until the bell and Izawa was warned for the infraction between rounds.

Early in round two, Izawa scored a knockdown with a straight right hand and she secured a tight ninja choke when Park tried to stand up. Park had no choice but to tap out and she relinquished her title at the 58-second mark of round two.

“What champion am I now?” Izawa joked to the audience after her win as she read the name of her title on the front of the belt. “I have three belts now. I’ve joined Japan Top Team and now I can show my striking improvements that I have made with them. I will fight anyone and I’ll defend all of my belts. Mr. Sakakibara, I want to fight at Super Rizin 3 [in July]. Without me there, women’s MMA won’t have the same excitement at that event.

“I’m glad that I could daze [Park] with that strike,” Izawa added when speaking backstage. “I can show that I am an all-around MMA fighter. [Park] has a strong heart and nice grappling defence. I wanted to finish her with ground punches, but I went for the submission instead. I didn’t feel too much pressure to bring the [atomweight] title back here to Japan. Making this weight is tough, but I felt that my condition was good today.

Seika Izawa Backstage At Deep Jewels 44
New Deep Jewels Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa.


In the co-main event, Kate “Lotus” Oyama (5-6-0) finally scored the breakout win that she had been seeking when she stopped 24-fight veteran Yuko Kiryu (13-11-0) with punches just 88 seconds into their 49kg super atomweight matchup.

After a brief takedown from Kiryu, Oyama returned to her feet and she dropped her opponent with a left hook. Kiryu stood and Oyama swarmed on her with more punches that hurt Kiryu again and seemed like they would be enough to end the fight. The action was allowed to continue and Oyama landed knees to Kiryu’s body and more punches. A final flurry from Oyama sent Kiryu stumbling backward and referee Naoya Uematsu stepped in to wave off the bout.

“I landed a counter knee during the first takedown [attempt] and it was effective,” Oyama noted backstage. “That was part of my strategy. I was able to break my barrier with this fight. I expected that it would go on longer, but I was happy to get the early finish. I want to compete for Rizin in Kobe, but I need a better record first. I have more power now and I was able to finish [Kiryu] after she was dazed.”


Also at 49kg, Saki Kitamura (2-2-0) once again showed off her power with a one-punch knockout of the much more experienced Mizuki Furuse (11-12-0). The fighters traded kicks after Kitamura thwarted a takedown attempt from Furuse. Kitamura then landed a short left hook to Furuse’s jaw that dropped her face-first to the mat and ended the bout in just 36 seconds.

“I train at [Wajutsu Keishukai] Hearts now and my teammates are really good, so I’m trying to catch up to them,” Kitamura remarked backstage. “I’m not satisfied yet. Pressuring my opponent is good for my rhythm, so therefore I chose to do that.”


In what was intended to be a flyweight bout, Momoko Saito (0-2-0, 1 NC) instead missed out on her first pro win by coming in 1.8kg overweight for her fight against the undefeated Yuka “Dosukoi” Okutomi (3-0-0, 1 NC).

Saito did well in the first round with a takedown and some clinch control time against the cage, then countered an Okutomi heel hook attempt in round two by reversing into top position. Back on the feet, Saito landed a three-punch combination and then continued to land strikes after taking Okutomi’s back. Okutomi fought off a rear-naked choke, but she was puton the defensive throughout the round.

As a result of Saito losing one point per round due to missing weight, all three judges scored the fight even at 18-18. They all awarded their Must Decisions to Saito, who would normally have taken a Unanimous Decision win as a result, but the bout was automatically declared to be a No Contest due to her weight miss.


Elsewhere on the card, South Korea’s Eun Bi “Libby” Cho (1-5-0) earned her first pro win with one of the most devastating knockouts in Deep Jewels history in her 44kg microweight bout against Momoko Yamazaki (4-6-0). Cho punched her way into an early clinch against the cage, where the fighters traded knees until Cho took a step back. She cracked Yamazaki with a one-two combination that instantly knocked her out and sent her crashing to the mat with her right leg bending awkwardly beneath her body. Yamazaki was down for some time before she was helped out of the cage. Meanwhile, Cho, competing for the first time since September 2021, achieved her first win with the highlight-reel finish.

At bantamweight, Marina Kumagai (5-5-0) fought off takedown attempts and landed some solid strikes en route to a Unanimous Decision win against Chieko Hosoya (2-3-0). While the first round was close, Kumagai took over in round two and she punished Hosoya for her failed takedown attempts with numerous punches to her face. The damage component was a key factor and all three judges scored the fight 20-18 in favour of Kumagai, who has won five of her past six fights.

Mahina China (1-0-0) made a successful pro debut in her 44kg microweight bout against Kyoka “Chibisai” Minagawa (2-5-0, 1 NC). China trapped Minagawa in one guillotine choke in the first round, then two more in the second, and also threatened with an arm-triangle choke. Minagawa escaped each time, and she briefly mounted China late in round two, but it was not enough to steal back the fight. Scores were 20-18 twice and 19-19 with a Must Decision to China for the Unanimous Decision win.

In a 52kg kickboxing bout, Serina relied on strong left hands to take a Unanimous Decision win over Yuka Shimamura. Serina’s offensive output was simply much better than her opponent’s, but Shimamura did landed a spinning back forearm strike late in the fight that caused Serina’s right cheek below her eye to swell up. Despite that, all three judges scored the two-round bout 20-19 for Serina.

Haruka “Boss” Suzuki (1-2-0) emergd victorious after a dominant performance in her flyweight bout against Hitomi Taniyama (1-3-0). Despite her best efforts, Taniyama could not take Suzuki down and she was repeatedly punished with punches to the side of her face when Suzuki took her back. Taniyama finally attempted a guillotine choke late in the fight, to no avail, and Suzuki blasted her with hammerfists. Scores were 20-18 thrice for Suzuki, who took the Unanimous Decision win.

Miku Yokose (2-1-0 amateur) scored her second victory over Misaki Suda (1-5-0 amateur) in an amateur super atomweight rematch that was much more decisive than their first fight one year ago. After some early grappling exchanges, Suda made a critical error by attempting a head kick and losing her balance in the process. Yokose instantly took her back and locked on a rear-naked choke that forced Suda to tap out at the 2:14 mark of round one.

Opening up the card, Yokose’s sister, Yua, won her 53kg amateur kickboxing match against Asuka Yokoe. As each round was only 90 seconds in duration, the action was non-stop throughout. Yokose landed the better strikes, however, and she wobbled Yokoe in round one and kept her backing up in round two. Scores were 20-18 and 20-19 twice for Yokose, who prevailed via Unanimous Decision.


“Deep Jewels 44 had a lot of KOs,” Deep boss Shigeru Saeki said when speaking backstage after the event. “I felt that [Mahina] China had a good performance. ‘Libby’ [Eun Bi Cho] had a great knockout. Momoko [Saito] missed weight, but before this she was just striking and lost. Tonight, she mixed her striking with takedowns well and she has adapted well to MMA. Saki [Kitamura] got a great KO and [Seika] Izawa got the finish. It was a nice event.

“Izawa is too strong,” Saeki continued. “I’m not sure if she will next unify her [Deep Jewels strawweight] title [against Arisa Matsuda], but her strongest opponent so far has been Si Woo Park.”

Full play-by-play for the Deep Jewels 44 card can be found here.