Welcome to Frank Pozen's Big Bad Blog. A lot of folks have been asking me to update them about my recovery. So I thought I would start a blog primarily to do that but also to talk about other topics of interest including the wrestling business and whatever else I can think of. I plan to update this on a regular basis so check back and leave a comment if you wish.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ayaka Hamasaki is the JEWELS Lightweight Champion
JEWELS had their first Korakuen Hall show yesterday in front of 1216 fans. Of course the big news is that Ayaka Hamasaki won the tournament final over pre-tournament favourite Ham Seo Hee and is the new JEWELS Lightweight Champion. She won both matches in very convincing manner. I was not surprised that she won. For me, the other thing that needs to happen is that JEWELS needs to abolish the silly rules that penalize good fighters and also affects some of their own fighters adversely. Not conforming to the world MMA standard makes JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki look like a stupid sexist parochial old fool. And it clearly doesn't prepare fighters like HIROKO, Saori Ishioka and Shizuka Sugiyama to fight outside of JEWELS. Saeki didn't announce any schedule for 2011 but he did hint that there may be some crossover with DEEP. I expect the schedule to be similar to this year's schedule. There is some hope with young fighters like Hamasaki and MIZUKI. But Saeki admitted they need to attract more young talent.
Ayaka Hamasaki kicks Ham Seo Hee
Ayaka Hamasaki won her semi final match over Sakura Nomura in dominating fashion and showed punching power that she hasn't shown before. She started out with a high kick and followed with effective punching and grappling skills. Nomura came back a bit near the end of the second round but it wasn't enough and Hamasaki won an easy unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Ham Seo Hee had a very tough time with Mika Nagano in the other semi final. Initially, Ham stuffed Nagano's takedown attempts and pounded her. But a successful Nagano takedown almost resulted in a successful rear naked choke. Ham continued to land punches in round two and Nagano tried an Achilles hold. It ended with Ham winning by split decision. In the final, Hamasaki chose to trade punches with Ham and was very effective. You would think she would try to take Ham down. But JEWELS limited ground and pound rules sometimes turn matches into kickboxing because if Hamasaki takes Ham down and can't finish her quickly, the ref will stand them up. It's a strategy that is reserved for JEWELS. Ham did land some punches but I think Hamasaki surprised a lot of folks with her punching power. And it's clear that Megumi Fujii had her work on that because of the rules. Congratulations to Ayaka Hamasaki on winning the JEWELS Lightweight Championship.
MIZUKI armbars ASAKO
The rest of the show was a mixed bag. For me, the biggest thing that came from it was 16 year old MIZUKI winning the 56kg ROUGH STONE tournament over ASAKO with a cross arm breaker at 2:59 of round one. I will be keeping an eye on MIZUKI. The point of the ROUGH STONE tournaments is to showcase emerging fighters. But other than MIZUKI, they didn't do that. Hiroko Kitamura won the 52kg tournament over Mai Ichii by unanimous decision. Kitamura is 38 years old. She's not a prospect. Mizuho Ishikawa won the 48kg tournament over Yukiko Seki by split decision. In other matches, MIYOKO won over Asami Higa with an armbar at 43 sec of round two. Emi Murata won over anna by TKO at 1:03 of round one. In a tournament reserve match, Saori Ishioka won over Amiba by armbar at 2:14 of round one. In her retirement match, Miki Morifuji won over Kinuka Sasaki by unanimous decision. In a bit of a shocker, former pro wrestler Esui won over Shizuka Sugiyama by TKO at 13 sec of round two. Esui hammered her and Sugiyama's corner threw in the towel. That's a bad loss for Sugiyama. HIROKO won over Molly Helsel by TKO at 3:11 of round two. It was stopped because of JEWELS' ridiculous three knockdown rule. HIROKO was winning anyway so it doesn't matter much. It just shows that she needs to leave Japan and train in the US. She's not getting anywhere and there are no opponents left for her in Japan. So it was a pretty successful show because they filled Korakuen Hall.