Sunday, September 23, 2012

JEWELS needs to knock off the kickboxing

So a funny thing happened in the aftermath of yesterday's JEWELS show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The main event was a kickboxing match AZUMA beating Korean Mi-Jeon Chan who was a late injury replacement. But when the Japanese media like Sportsnavi reported on the show, there was no mention of AZUMA or kickboxing. Instead they focused on the looks of Mika Nagano and Shizuka Sugiyama. When Yuichi Ozono bought SMACKGIRL and turned it into JEWELS, the idea was to have idols who could fight. The problem was girls they wanted to push like Nagano, Sugiyama and Saori Ishioka turned out to be mediocre fighters. Ishioka is on maternity leave but JEWELS has to try and rebuild Nagano and Sugiyama. It's a big mountain to climb. The fights the two won yesterday won't help. Nagano faced MMA newcomer Tomo Maesawa. Nagano has been yakking about how she is working on her striking. In the first round against Maesawa, she didn't show much of that. But in round two, Nagano picked it up and won with an armbar at 3:37 of round two. Sugiyama also fought an MMA newcomer in Yurika Tanaka. Sugiyama won easily and battered Tanaka at will until the fight was stopped at 1:24 of round two. Both Nagano and Sugiyama will have to beat much stiffer competition for anyone to treat them as anything other than glorified idols. Neither has shown that kind of ability in the past. In other MMA fights, the undefeated Satomi Takano won an easy unanimous decision over veteran Happy Fukuko. And Norway's Celine Haga won over anna with an armbar at 2:18 of round two. anna may be the worst female fighter in Japan. She is pathetic. The rest of the show was filler kickboxing matches and amateur kickboxing and grappling. MIZUKI won her grappling match Nanachanchin won her grappling match. Holy mackeral! She got off the schneid. Nanachanchin has never won in her ten year career. The bottom line is there are enough female kickboxing companies in Japan already. JEWELS needs to concentrate on MMA and they also need to adopt standard MMA rules. Otherwise, it's hard to take them seriously.

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