Smackgirl Titles Contested in September

By Jordan Breen Jun 30, 2007
In a year in which female mixed martial arts has become increasingly en vogue, perhaps the titling of Smackgirl's Sept. 6 card at Korakuen Hall is apt.

Smackgirl's "Queens' Hottest Summer" main event will see the organization's reigning 115-pound queen Yuka Tsuji (Pictures) take on the only woman to blemish her stellar 17-1 record, Brazil's Michelli Tavares.

Tsuji is coming off of a destructive win over an outmatched Thricia Poovey in her hometown of Osaka this past April, while Tavares has busied herself in Brazil in her Showfight promotion, with her last notable win coming in Oct. 2005 over Bodog regular Carina Damm.

The two women met in July 2003 under the DEEP banner. Fighting in front of her home crowd in Osaka, Tsuji was undefeated and coming off of an impressive run through Smackgirl's 2002 Japan Cup tournament. However, the virtually unknown Tavares pulled off an upset, locking up a tight triangle armbar in the first period to earn the submission victory.

While the Tsuji-Tavares clash will not put Tsuji's 115-pound title at stake, the card will feature two Smackgirl title bouts.

After winning a title elimination fight over American Sybil Starr (Pictures) in March, Takayo Hashi (Pictures) takes on bodogFIGHT veteran and reigning Smackgirl 128-pound champion Hitomi Akano (Pictures). Like Tsuji and Tavares, Hashi and Akano have history as well, as Akano submitted Hashi in Aug. 2005 to win that year's 128-pound Next Cinderella Tournament.

Pioneering spirit Yoko Takahashi (Pictures) will defend her open-weight Smackgirl title against HIROKO. The upstart HIROKO, whose other chosen profession is as a dominatrix, impressed in winning the open-weight Super Girls Cup tournament earlier this year, while the longtime veteran Takahashi earned her championship strap by beating Alicia Mena (Pictures) for the vacant title, after it was stripped from Amanda Buckner (Pictures).

Also on the card, "Edge" Ayumi Saito (Pictures) will take on Mai in the finals of the 106-pound KILLER QUEEN tournament, the winner of which will likely become the next challenger to divisional titlist Satoko Shinashi (Pictures). Female pro-wrestling idol Fuka will compete as well.

While the Tsuji-Tavares fight will take place under Smackgirl special rules -- full ground-and-pound and no time limit on the ground -- all other bouts will be contested under the typically utilized Smackgirl Strike rules, with prohibited ground striking techniques and a 30-second stand-up rule in effect on the ground.
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