Fujii Moves to 18-0 at ‘Fourth Ring’

By Tony Loiseleur Jul 11, 2009
TOKYO -- Undefeated Megumi Fujii took her undefeated streak to 18 fights, as she racked up her sixth straight submission victory against Saori Ishioka in the main event of Jewels “Fourth Ring” on Saturday at the cramped Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.

Despite being clearly outmatched by Fujii (18-0) in the experience department, Jewels’ poster girl Ishioka still had an impressive two-round showing against “Mega Megu.” Ishioka (7-4) thwarted much of Fujii’s early takedown attempts and traded knees with her in the clinch. Fujii scored a knockdown soon after by sweeping Ishioka’s leg but was pulled off by referee Ryogoku Wada when she charged in to finish her.

After Ishioka answered the count, Fujii took her down with the inside trip. As the only bout on the card to allow punches to the face of a downed opponent, Fujii punched away as she passed to mount, where she bounced Ishioka’s head on the canvas with fully postured punches. After eating some punishment, Ishioka bridged to escape an armbar, allowing her to reverse Fujii and drop punches of her own. Fujii kicked her away out and stole top position in guard, though, and finished out the round with more head-bouncing ground-and-pound.

The second period started with Ishioka again defending well against takedown attempts, as she landed low kicks and right hands on the southpaw Fujii. The unbeaten Fujii answered back with stiff lefts and inside low kicks of her own before getting Ishioka to the mat, again punching her way to mount. With Ishioka holding Fujii close to minimize punching distance, Fujii quickly changed tactics and wrenched out an armbar finish at the 4:17 mark.

One fight removed from her unceremonious shellacking to an overweight Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, Hitomi Akano started out tentatively against Miki Morifuji (7-6) but turned the tide in the second frame and captured a straight armbar submission.

After losing an Achilles lock thanks to a stray Morifuji punch to the face that prompted a stand-up by referee Kenichi Serizawa, Akano (15-6) came back in the second round to threaten with more submission attempts. Earning catches for guillotine and triangle chokes, Akano soon struck gold after taking mount, as she reached over to put Morifuji’s left arm in a straight armbar; Like the Fujii-Ishioka match before it, the end came 4:17 into round two.

Meanwhile, Rina Tomita started out well enough, but Mika Nagano toughed out an early triangle and armbar attempt to regain control en route to a second-round submission.

Nagano (3-2) reversed to take Tomita’s back for an attempted choke that was stood up due to both fighters falling out of the ring. Nagano secured the takedown soon after, passed to mount and threatened with an armbar at the end of the round. Nagano went on to take that armbar in the second period, as she submitted Tomita (2-1) at the 35-second mark.

Shizuka Sugiyama defeated Mika Harigai by unanimous decision with an overwhelming number of clean punches to the face.

In both rounds, Sugiyama (4-0) blazed forward with an endless barrage. Harigai (6-20-1) chose to absorb the punishment, as she stayed close and delivered counter punches and hard low kicks. The only time the bout hit the canvas was when either fighter tired of attacking on the feet; they rested on the ground in the relative safety of the anti ground-and-pound rules. However, Serizawa only let the women indulge in brief breaks before standing them back up to resume punishing each other on the feet. All three judges ruled the bout for Sugiyama.

No other fight on the card went the distance.

Asami Kodera wore down the gutsy Yukiko Seki with knees in the corners before dropping to her back for an armbar attempt. Seki (5-17) held on, however, as she defended and scrambled to get the fight back to a standing position, where she pressed forward with wild punches. Kodera (3-3) rebounded, landing counters before dropping for another armbar, successfully executing the submission at 4:47 of the first period.

Elsewhere, Mutsumi Kasai (3-0-1) worked a clinic on Celine Haga, bashing her in the stand-up with savage hooks that dropped her for an early knockdown. Answering the count but clearly out on her feet, Haga (0-2) conceded the takedown before falling prey to a kimura at 3:06 of the first round.

Finally, Hiroko Kitamura got in 3:51 of sparring time against the winless Harumi Harumi -- who dropped to 0-12 in defeat. Kitamura (1-0) punished Harumi on the feet, followed her strikes with a rear-naked choke attempt and ultimate cinched a successful triangle choke.
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