Jewels Champ Hamasaki Bests 17-Year-Old Prospect Inoue

  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Ayaka Hamasaki (right) had too much for youngster Mizuki Inoue. | Photo: Taro Irei

TOKYO -- In a clash between in-house titlists, Jewels 115-pound champion Ayaka Hamasaki took a commanding decision over 2010 Rough Stone grand prix winner Mizuki Inoue on Sunday in the main event of Jewels “16th Ring” at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.

Taking advantage of the fact that a hesitant Inoue expected a barrage of takedowns, the Abe Ani Combat Club wrestler surprised by tempting fate to trade punches early with the 17-year-old firebrand.

“I didn’t think I would have been able to strike with her,” admitted Hamasaki, 29, post-fight. “She’s already a very good striker herself, so I didn’t think that I would beat her that way. I did intend to give her a few shots, of course, particularly when my corner instructed me to, so I really only did it then.”

Hamasaki landed her fair share on the dangerous karateka before putting Inoue on her back with a double-leg takedown. The ground position would become a familiar one for both, as Hamasaki constantly passed from half-guard or attacked with punches and knees to the body from side-control. Full of youthful energy, Inoue didn’t stay still on the bottom, bucking and squirming out of optimal position any time Hamasaki began looking for submission setups.

Inoue fared somewhat better in the latter half of the second and final frame, mashing short punches, low kicks and knees into Hamasaki from the clinch. However, it wasn’t long before Hamasaki again put her on her back, finishing out the round on top in half-guard while hunting for a keylock.

With two dominant rounds of grappling control, judges Moritaka Oshiro, Akira Yamazaki and Tomoki Matsumiya unanimously ruled the bout in favor of the 115-pound divisional champion.

“She’s quite strong,” said a humble Hamasaki. “She’s capable in all areas, striking and grappling. I wanted to win by submission but I just wasn’t able to with her.”

Kicking off Jewels’ inaugural 106-pound title tournament, Kikuyo Ishikawa eliminated first and final Valkyrie 100-pound champ Yasuko Tamada from the running, securing Ishikawa’s berth in the semifinals.

Both women started the bout sniping with jabs at range, but Ishikawa had one distinct advantage: long-range, multi-level kicks which mashed the Valkyrie champ from range. In time, Ishikawa’s hands also proved superior, as she landed harder and more accurate shots, wobbling Tamada with sharp counters in both five-minute rounds. Tamada had several takedowns in the final frame, but they couldn’t stack up to the damage piled upon her, thus prompting judges Yamazaki, Oshiro and Matsumiya to give Ishikawa the nod.

T. Irei

Sugiyama edged Saito.

Meeting Ishikawa in the Dec. 17 semifinals will be Naho Sugiyama, who took a decision win over Ayumi Saito in a close fight which pitted Sugiyama’s clinch and grappling work against her opponent’s blistering punch combinations. “Edge” put a number of stiff shots on Sugiyama’s face, changing things up with digging hooks to the body and uppercuts in the second frame. “Sugi Rock,” on the other hand, braved the fire to press Saito up against the ropes, scoring occasional takedowns and briefly securing dominant position before being stood up. This was apparently enough to convince judges Yamazaki, Matsumiya and Oshiro to cast their ballots in Sugiyama’s favor.

On the other side of the bracket, Misaki Takimoto’s superior striking saw her outpoint Miyoko Kusaka, punching Takimoto’s ticket to the semis. Given Kusaka’s rather one-dimensional tactic of pressing straight forward for takedowns, Kusaka was left open to eating punch combinations followed by head and body kicks. The karateka dropped Kusaka with a stiff left hand in the second period for a knockdown count. Given Takimoto’s superior control on the feet, judges Oshiro, Yamazaki and Matsumiya unanimously voted for the Zendokai product.

Lastly, mini-wrecking ball Yukiko Seki bull-rushed Sachiko Yamamoto to lock her place across from Takimoto in the tourney semifinals. Seki blazed forward with barrages of punches, looking to overwhelm “Sachi,” who tried for takedowns to slow and control the bout. Seki was indomitable however, reversing on the canvas to take top position, bullying with punches to the body and to the face when on the feet. Judges Oshiro, Matsumiya and Yamazaki also unanimously cast their ballots for Seki.

After three and a half years away from MMA competition, Emi Tomimatsu made a successful return by handling Team Hellboy Hansen’s Celine Haga.

Haga played a conservative game, circling away while throwing punches to keep her opponent at bay. Unmoved by Haga’s striking or power during her more wild punches, Tomimatsu pushed forward to bully in the clinch with knees and takedown attempts. By way of this simple application of forward pressure, Tomimatsu took the fight on judges Yamazaki, Oshiro and Serizawa’s cards, handing Haga her fifth consecutive loss.

T. Irei

Oya and Naito went back and forth.

In a very competitive opening round, both Yuko Oya and Akiko Naito traded dominant positions in full- and back-mount, with neither woman being able to lock a submission or drop more than a few perfunctory punches. The second frame was just as competitive, but saw Oya edging “Betiko” in positional dominance on the canvas -- not at all noticing the magnitude 3 tremor that jolted the venue during the round -- allowing her to drop punches from mount and side-control. Judges Yamazaki and Oshiro submitted scorecards for “Amiba,” with judge Serizawa instead favoring Naito.

Returning from a successful March surgery to treat cervical cancer, Rina Tomita’s disciplined submission offense bested Anna Saito’s wild punches, eventually putting the shorter fighter away by technical submission in the first frame. Saito’s haymakers connected on the defensively porous Tomita, but once Saito took the fight to the ground, she put herself firmly in her opponent's territory, having to escape triangle, guillotine and rear-naked choke attempts. Referee Oshiro saved Saito from the subsequent armbar however, stepping in at the 4:24 mark.

The win was an emotional one for AACC product Tomita, who expressed tearful gratitude to her fans and parents for supporting her through her bout with cancer.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 26 days ago

Ronda Rousey says she can beat any BJJ girl in the world, regardless of rules or weight class. UFC champion Ronda Rousey is certainly no stranger to making bold statements about her skills. Whether it's flat out saying she will dominate her UFC opponents, to saying that under the right circumstances she can beat Cain Velasquez, it's just the type of confidence that some athletes have to have with themselves. The former Olympic Judoka is set to face a BJJ black belt in Alexis Davis next, and as s more

  • 26 days ago

It didn't take long for Legacy FC bantamweight champion Thomas Almeida to get his UFC call-up. Bloody Elbow has profiled Thomas Almeida multiple times just within the past few months, and for good reason. The Chute Boxe talent has an astonishing 100% finish rate and a 17-0 record, with his 17th win coming last Friday at Legacy FC against Caio Machado for the promotion's bantamweight title. Not even a week after the 22-year-old scored his latest knockout win, the UFC came calling. MMA Fighting's more

  • 26 days ago

Thomas De Almeida, the top bantamweight prospect in MMA and one of the brightest up-and-comers in the entire sport, signed with the UFC on Tuesday, according to reports. The news originally broke via Brazilian site MMA Premium (translation h/t Guilherme Cruz of The signing comes on the heels of Almeida's June 20 win over Caio Machado in the Legacy Fighting Championship promotion. The win netted Almeida the LFC bantamweight belt, and now, it has apparently netted him a contract more

  • 26 days ago

Recently crowned Legacy Fighting Championships bantamweight king Thomas Almeida is taking his talents to the Octagon. more

  • 26 days ago

Wheaties, the breakfast of champions with sports tie-ins and endorsements since 1927, has added a UFC champion to its team of athletes.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 26 days ago

Thomas Almeida got what he wanted. The Chute Boxe bantamweight told last week that he wanted to knock Caio Machado out to win the Legacy FC 135-pound title and sign with the UFC, and that’s exactly what happened. According to sources close to the situation, he signed a deal with the UFC on Tuesday. MMA Premium first reported the news. Almeida stopped Machado with 33 seconds left in the first round to win the Legacy FC gold, improving to 17-0 in MMA with 17 finishes. He got past t more

  • 27 days ago

While David Branch didn’t waste much time in dispatching Jesse Taylor for the inaugural WSOF middleweight title, he would like to pause his career to heal from his preparation. Filed under: MMAjunkie Radio, News, WSOF more

  • 27 days ago

UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis has been announced as newest member of Team Wheaties. The UFC has been making a concentrated effort to become as mainstream as possible. We're seeing a much more saturated market, strides toward global expansion, and big name corporate sponsorship. It wasn't too long ago that the acquisition of Bud Light and Harley Davidson sponsorships by the organization as a whole was big news. Recently though, we've seen athletes like Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Jun more

  • 28 days ago

Former featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan was the only WSOF 10 fighter on the five-bout main card that landed on the medical suspension list on Monday. more