The press conference was held at Fuji TV studios because it was announced that Fuji will have a special broadcast of the STARTING OVER show on Jan. 26 in prime time in Japan. But the big news is that Smackgirl will finally eliminate many of the special rules to conform with MMA rules worldwide. This is somrthing that has been demanded by top fighters like Yuka Tsuji & Megumi Fujii along with fighters and trainers around the world. The 30 second limitation on sleeper holds & ground and pound is the first change. I don't know if they will get rid of those damn mittens but it's a good first step to open Smackgirl to fighters everywhere. Smackgirl also announced the return of the World REMIX Tournament in 2008. The opening round will be Feb. 14. The semi finals will be Apr. 25 and the final will be July 24. All shows will be at Korakuen Hall.
Of course the main event of STARTING OVER has Yuka Tsuji defending her Smackgirl Lightweight Title against Korean Ham Su Hi. Ham was at the press conference and they're still selling the match as Tsuji getting revenge for Ayumi "Edge" Saito. The big news is that the icomparable Sambo Queen Megumi Fujii is on the show facing newcomer Mika Nagano. Fujii's record is 12-0 and is considered one of the best MMA fighters in the world. Nagano is new to MMA but she has been an amateur wrestler for 11 years. She wrestled in the famed womens wrestling program at Chukyo Womens University and finished fourth in the 2002 Queen's Cup. Her MMA debut can best be described as baptism by fire.
DEEP Flyweight Champion Satoko Shinashi is on this show. Of course Shinashi is another little girl who packs a mighty wallop. Her record is 25-1-2. Her opponent is called Anne and appears to be another Thai kickboxer making her MMA debut. Good luck to her. She'll need it. Megumi Yabushita is in tough with Lana "Lethal" Stafanac. She's 5'10" 210lbs. and her record is 4-0 with three submissions. Saori Ishioka (3-2) will face Thricia "Little Evil" Poovey. You may recall that Poovey gor hammered by Yuka Tsuji back in April. Her record is 3-4. Madoka Okada (3-1) will face Shawn Tamaribuchi. Her record is 0-2 and she lost on the recent Fighing Femme Fatale show. I assume a few more matches will be announced shortly.