Sunday, May 28, 2017

Syuri wins PANCRASE Strawweight belt. Is she UFC bound?

At today's PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake, the co-main event had Syuri vs Brazilian Kinberly Novaes for the Strawweight Queen of PANCRASE. Kinberly had been to Japan before. She lost a Shoot Boxing match to RENA. The hope was that she would be a tough opponent for Syuri but that Syuri would still win easily. That's what they were hoping when they brought in Minna Grusander from Finland with her amateur credentials. But she turned out to be a very disappointing opponent for Syuri. She did nothing for three rounds. Before the fight, Kinberly made a lot of noise saying she would KO Syuri. In the end, the fight went a full five rounds and Syuri won by unanimous decision. In round one, Kinberly pushed Syuri to the fence and scored with knees. She won the round. It reversed in round two and Syuri took control with punches and kicks. Then she really took control in round three. Most of the damage was done in the clinch with knees and elbows. Syuri knocked Kinberly down in round four and one of the judges scored the round 10-8 for Syuri. The domination continued in round five. The only thing Syuri didn't get was a finish. But she was happy with the win and Kinberly at least was competitive for a while. Syuri's goal has always been to get to the UFC. I expect her to appear on September's Japan show. It's certainly a long way from Hustle. When Syuri first announced her entry into MMA, I heard plenty of skepticism because she's a pro wrestler. But she had already been a kickboxing champ. And I never liked her as a pro wrestler and I thought she would be better in MMA. She was a dancer before she got into pro wrestling. And I always said she wrestled like a dancer. A lot of her skills were based on dance moves. Otherwise she was a limited pro wrestler. Ex-dancers like Naomi are more common in the WWE so you're more likely to see that there than in Japan. Of course she can't use that crutch in MMA and we already knew she was a good kickboxer. And Vos is a good gym. We've seen her improve over five fights and maybe she's ready for the UFC. Syuri has surprised people already and if she gets into the UFC, she could surprise a lot more people.

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