Friday, March 30, 2012

PANCRASE announces first ever women's MMA match in Okinawa

Shino VanHoose, Kikuyo Ishikawa
PANCRASE announced yesterday that they will return to Okinawa for the first time in four years May 20 at 3F Koza Music Town. The first match announced will be the first ever women's MMA match in Okinawa. It's rare for pro wrestling or MMA companies to go to Okinawa. PANCRASE will draw. I expect them to fill the house. But it's offset by the cost to go there. They'll probably break even. This is why the regional pro wrestling and MMA scene is much healthier than in Tokyo. A local company has a captive audience and no competition. It's too expensive for PANCRASE or anyone else to go there regularly. In a Strawweight (48kg) match scheduled for two five minute rounds, 16 year old Shino VanHoose will face 2010 JEWELS ROUGH STONE tournament winner Kikuyo Ishikawa. Shino is the daughter of an American serviceman and there are military bases near Okinawa. She trains at Hachioji Paraestra. Her record is 2-0 and her last win was over sakura on the Mar. 11 PANCRASE show. Ishikawa is a big step up in competition for Shino. Ishikawa is an Okinawa native. It's obviously a big deal for her to fight in her home town. She trains at Grand Slam Reversal in Yokohama. Her record is 6-3 and her last fight was a loss to Sugi Rock in the finals of the JEWELS Featherweight tournament on Dec. 17. Since all her fights have been in JEWELS, Ishikawa has never fought full MMA rules. All JEWELS fights have limited ground and pound. She did say she is happy to fight full ground and pound and looks forward to punching her opponent in the face. PANCRASE also announced that pro wrestler Kyoko Kimura will be on this show after she fights a Korean kickboxer this Sunday. I think Kimura may have wrestled in Okinawa a couple of years ago.

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