Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hisae Watanabe to return on Feb. 5 WSOF show

Hisae Watanabe, Ye Ji Lee
You may recall a couple of years ago that World Series Of Fighting planned to run shows in Japan in partnership with PANCRASE. The deal did not work out. But now the WSOF has opened a Global Championship division. They ran a show in China and in December, they announced plans to run a show on Feb. 7 at TDC Hall in Tokyo. For readers of this blog, the most interesting part of this announcement is the return of former DEEP Women's Champion Hisae Watanabe. Of course regular readers of this blog will also know that I'm not crazy about fighters who come out of retirement for no reason. I would prefer she stay retired. The WSOF finally announced her opponent will be Korean fighter Ye Ji Lee. In 2007, Hisae got married and retired. After giving birth to a child, she decided to return in 2010. Though she intended to return to MMA, her comeback was cut short when RENA KOd her at the 2010 SHOOT BOXING Girls S-Cup. Hisae is now 35 years old. She became famous in Japan when she won the 2004 Golden Muscles tournament that aired on TBS in Japan. Even in her prime, Hisae had two things going for her; legit KO power and sex appeal and charisma. But as a one dimensional kickboxer, she had holes in her game and she lost fights she should have won. Maybe she looks at her initial run as unfinished business. Then in 2010, we last saw her crumpled up in the corner by RENA. She had to be disappointed. The problem is when you go away for eight years and then return, you don't improve. Father Time always wins this battle. Her opponent is a 16 year old Korean girl who looks more like a reality show contestant than a fighter. She lost her MMA debut to Satoko Shinashi in the July 25 Road FC show. This is a fight that would never have been approved here because regulators would nix it because of the experience difference. There are no athletic commissions in Japan to rap a promoter's knuckles when he pulls this kind of crap. So it looks like a mismatch but one never knows especially with a fighter like Hisae who is known to be inconsistent.

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