Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saori Ishioka on DEEP show in China

Saori Ishioka
DEEP announced today plans to hold their first ever show in China. They are calling it Mayhem In Macao. It will be Jan. 8 at The Venetian in Macao, China. China is considered the next emerging market for MMA and I know UFC has opened an office there so it wouldn't be surprising to see them do a show there in 2011. Japanese MMA & wrestling companies have traveled to other Asian countries for years so I don't think it's unusual for DEEP or any of the other companies to want to go to China. Among the fighters going on this trip are DEEP Super Heavyweight Champ Yusuke Kawaguchi, Former DEEP Middleweight Champ Ryuta Sakurai and DEEP Welterweight Champ Yuya Shirai. But they also announced they are taking two female fighters on the trip. DEEP hasn't had any women's matches since MIKU retired earlier this year. I don't know if it means that DEEP will start using women on their Japanese shows. I doubt it. It's more likely that they are taking women to China because of local interest in women's MMA. Remember Shigeru Saeki is matchmaker for DEEP and JEWELS. One fighter going to China is JEWELS veteran Saori Ishioka. Ishioka trains at Zendokai. Her record is 10-5. She considered retirement after losing to Sakura Nomura on the July 31 JEWELS show. But she returned for a shaky win over Celine on the Oct. 10 JEWELS show. She is still scheduled to fight on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. The second fighter is Thai kickboxer Ann Tiptsuta Wongkhamma. She trains at Muay Chaiya. She won her one MMA fight over Drea Nga on the Oct. 1, 2007 Thailand Fights show but she has a 10-4-1 Muay Thai record. Ann is much smaller than Saori so I don't think they are fighting each other. It's more likely that they will face local fighters. That's a good idea on the undercard of this show. They haven't announced if the fights will be MMA or kickboxing. The latter would not be surprising. Ann is a kickboxer and Saori is a karate girl and might look at kickboxing as a welcome break from MMA. Stay tuned for more details when I get them.

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