Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ayaka Hamasaki successfully defends the JEWELS Lightweight Championship

Ayaka Hamasaki finishes Yuka Tsuji
JEWELS held their first show in Osaka today in front of a capacity crowd of 525 at Taisho Azeria. The main event had Ayaka Hamasaki defending her JEWELS Lightweight Championship against legendary Vale Tudo Queen Yuka Tsuji on the comeback trail after a lengthy injury layoff. Hamasaki wasted no time and knocked Tsuji down with a right hook. After landing another right hook, Hamasaki took her down and went for a submission. After passing guard, she went for the arm. Tsuji's attempts to resist were futile and it was over at 3:41 of round one. Tsuji didn't tap. The ref stopped the match. Regardless, a very convincing performance for Hamasaki. JEWELS will begin a 52kg tournament in July and the winner will challenge Hamasaki for the belt in December. More about that show in a minute. Well, they have to find a challenger somewhere but I'm not sure any of the usual fighters can do anything with Hamasaki. She has learned her lessons well from Megumi Fujii. In the semi main, JEWELS Featherweight Champion Sugi Rock won over Yasuko Tamada in a non title match. Sugi Rock missed weight and was penalized with a yellow card. Three yellow cards is a DQ. The match was very even. Tamada did better in the first round and Sugi Rock did better in the second round. You risk having more draws when you do two rounds instead of three. The ref called the match a draw but the other two judges scored it in Sugi Rock's favour. Mika Nagano won over anna with a cross arm breaker at 1:50 of round one. anna could be the worst fighter in Japan. Sadae Manhoef won by unanimous decision over SACHI. Ultra Benkei won over Keiko Tomita by armlock at 2:06 of round one. The kickboxing tournament was won by Momoka. JEWELS owner Yuichi Ozono and matchmaker Yasuko Mogi announced that the December JEWELS show will be the first ever to be held in a cage at Differ Ariake. I understand that many fans will think this is a wonderful idea. But most Japanese companies simply don't have the money to use a cage. So it's a huge risk. And Mogi has been there before. VALKYRIE shows were in a cage. But at the end of 2010, parent company GCM couldn't even pay the storage fees for the cage and closed. Depending on the seating, Differ Ariake holds 1200. And GCM's problem was even with a full house, they couldn't justify the expense of using the cage. So I'm not crazy about it because Differ Ariake doesn't generate enough revenue. I think it would serve them better financially to run Korakuen Hall because it has a larger capacity. But a cage doesn't fit there. And a ring is cheaper. It just works better financially.

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