Seika Izawa Narrowly Defeats Si Woo Park At Deep: 104 ImpactDeep Jewels Strawweight Champion Seika Izawa managed to overcome a considerable amount of adversity in her 49kg super atomweight debut tonight at Deep: “104 Impact” in Tokyo, Japan. Izawa, who was dropped in the second round, rallied to edge out South Korean striker Si Woo Park.

Shortly before scoring the flash knockdown, Park had sustained a two-point deduction due to an illegal soccer kick, which gave a lead to Izawa in an otherwise razor-thin fight. With her right eye almost completely swollen shut, Izawa kept the fight on the mat in round three to seal a decision win.

 

Izawa (4-0-0) used her jab to set up an early single-leg takedown in the opening round, but Park (5-4-0) worked back to her feet against the cage. Izawa scored another takedown and passed to side control, but Park scrambled and Izawa stood up. Park threw an upkick from the bottom and Izawa kicked at Park’s legs until the fight was brought back to the feet. Park landed a left hook and she battled back up against the cage after Izawa took her down. In the final seconds, Park scored with a body kick.

The eventful second round began with Izawa trying for a takedown, but Park sprawled and Izawa took her back as Park stood up. Izawa landed knees to Park’s thighs and then attempted a standing kimura, but Park shook her off and Izawa fell to the mat. Park then landed an illegal soccer kick to Izawa’s face and was given a Red Card for the infraction. The fight resumed and Park dropped Izawa with a right cross. Izawa quickly returned to her feet and took Park down, but Izawa’s right eye was rapidly closing. Park escaped from Izawa’s grasp and stood over her, landing leg kicks until Izawa was stood up. The round ended with Park landing two calf kicks and Izawa trying unsuccessfully for a takedown.

After the cageside doctor checked on Izawa’s eye, the fight was allowed to continue and round three started off with Park landing more calf kicks. Izawa took her down and Park worked back to her feet against the fence. Izawa tripped her again and then kicked at Park’s legs on the ground. When Park tried to stand up, Izawa took her back and a clinch ensued on the feet. Izawa attempted a standing neck crank late in the fight and then switched to a double-leg takedown before the bell.

Izawa, clearly frustrated by her performance, was visibly emotional before the judges’ scorecards were read. Fortunately for her, however, all three judges saw the bout in her favour. Scores were 28-27 and 29-26 twice for Izawa, who took the Unanimous Decision victory.

“I wanted to get a finish but couldn’t, and that is why I was crying when it went to a decision,” Izawa stated backstage. “My jab was more effective than I had imagined, but after I got hit in the eye I fought more safely. [Park] has a good sprawl and she is skilled at getting back to her feet. I’m not satisfied with this fight. My eye socket might be broken, so I need to have that tested. Rizin has the best talent in Japan and I want to be at that top level. After that, I will go abroad to compete.”

 

 

(Top Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)