On Monday, Japan’s Rizin promotion announced who will face stars Gabi Garcia, RENA, and Kanako Murata on September 25th in Tokyo, Japan.
Garcia (2-0) will face track star and semi-pro football Destanie Yarbrough (1-0). Garcia is a world champion in BJJ and grappling, and has been training striking with Cyborg Justino. Yarbrough is coming off a 0:33 TKO win in April, and currently plays for Women’s Football Alliance’s Cal Wart Angels.
RENA (1-0 MMA) draws world champion wrestler Miyu Yamamoto in her MMA debut. The Shootbox champion RENA was impressive in her MMA debut with a flying armbar win this past New years Eve. Yamamoto earned three world championships in freestyle wrestling and is part of a family of wrestling champions.
A familiar face to American fans as Kyra Batara (5-3) will make her debut in Japan taking on fellow grappler Kanako Murata .(3-0). Batara is on a three fight winning streak since coming to Combate Americas, two by TKO. The 10th Planet practitioner will have a tough test in Murata, who has racked up two straight TKO wins of her own. She was a national junior champion in wrestling.
No word as of yet if the matches will air or stream.
Holly Holm and Miesha Tate are getting their wishes.
The UFC relented on their plans to have the UFC champ wait until UFC 200 to defend her belt and will defended it at UFC 197 against Tate. They will co-main the card.
Speculation is the event will take place March 6th in Vegas, but the UFC isn’t on the docket for the NSCA meeting next week. That could change.
In the mean time, Ronda Rousey will be keeping herself busy until she is fully healed.
After her first heartbreaking loss, Rousey will try to not only cheer herself up but make people laugh January 23rd on NBC, becoming the first MMA fighter to host Saturday Night Live. Rousey will also be in the upcoming Sports Illsutrated Swimsuit Issue and filming a few movies.
Ashlee Evans-Smith is off suspension and will return to the UFC to take on Marion Reneau at UFC Pittsburgh February 21. Reneau lost a decision to eventual champion Holly Holm in her last outing, while Smith lost her debut to Raquel Pennington.
The match joins Sarah Moras versus Lauren Murphy on the card, which will air n Fox Sports 1.
Bellator has added a female bout to their January 29th event in Fresno, California.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will take on promotional debuter Amber Tackett on the undercard in a flyweight bout.
MacFarlane (2-0) is coming off a split decision win over Maria Rios in her Bellator debut. Tackett (1-1) recently return to action this past October, defeating Corina Herrera by decision.
Two bantamweight prospect will duke it out in February as well. England Kerry Hughes will face Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh at BAMMA 24 in Dublin, Ireland.
Hughes (2-1) is coming off a year’s absence after a TKO win over Amanda Kelly.
Knockout specialist Kavanagh (1-0) was a finalist int eh IMMAF world tournament last year and won her pro debut in 17 seconds.
Catherine Costigan is expected to also fight on the show.
The match will be streamed and we will have details in the next few weeks on how to watch.
After an eight year absence from MMA, atomweight Hisae Watanabe will return to action.
The shootbox and kickboxing legend will face Korea’s Ye Ji Lee at World Series of Fight’s Global Championship card in Tokyo, Japan February 7th.
Watanabe (19-6) started her MMA career in 2002 and announced her “retirement” from MMA in 2007, although she has fought two exhibition bouts in 2010 and 2012. She fought in shootboxing and kickboxing until 2010 before taking a break to start a family.
The 16 year old Lee is coming off her first pro loss in MMA but was able to hold her own in her debut.
No word on if this will be streamed.
Two matches to look out for this weekend:
Two of the top flyweight prospects, Katlyn Chookagian (5-0) and Isabelly Varela (7-0), will square off for the initial CFFC flyweight title in Atlantic City, New Jersey Saturday. The match will air on CBS Sports Net at a future date, but GoFightLive will stream the event live for $17.
Jamie Colleen will defend her King of the Cage pro 115 title against Calie Cutler in Carlton, Minnesota. The match will air on MAv TV at a future date.
One of Japan’s top bantamweight prospects Shizuka Sugiyama will be returning to action as she rematches Ji Yeon Kim at DEEP-JEWELS May 31 in Tokyo, Japan. This is one of three bouts announced Wednesday.
Both Sugiyama (13-4-1) and Kim (2-0-2) has back to back wins. Sugiyama has won 11 of her last nine fights; while Kim started her career with back to back draws including her debut match against Sugiyama in 2013 at DEEP.
Also announced, Emi Tomimatsu and Ayaka Miura both look to rebound from losses in a 105 bout. Tomimatsu (8-10) is the former DEEP-JEWELS 115 pound champion but has suffered back to back decision losses. Miura (1-1) is coming off her first pro loss and will be making the drop to 105.
Rounding out the card is Yuko Oya taking on Misaki Takimoto.
The event will see the semi-finals and finals of the DEEP-JEWELS 106 title grand prix as Mei Yamaguchi battles Mina Kurobe and Satomi “Sarami” Takano takes on Tomo Maesawa. The winners will fight each other in the main event for the vacant 106 title.
Coming off a busy February, all the Women’s Unified Pro MMA Rankings saw changes coming off the InvictaFC 12 card , the opening round of the DEEP-JEWELS 106 tournament, and all the UFC events.
With the return of Cris “Cyborg” Justino, the InvictaFC champion regains her #1 status at featherweight after her TKO win over Charmaine Tweet. Marloes Coenen (now 2), Julia Budd (now 3), and Faith Van Duin (now 4) all drop a spot. Talita Nogueira drops off the list due to activity.
Tweet drops from 7 to 10 in the rankings due to her loss, rotating Amanda Bell (now 7), Gabrielle Holloway (now 8) and Megan Anderson (now 9) up a spot.
With her loss to champion Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano drops from #2 to #3, trading spots with Miesha Tate in the only change in the 135 top ten.
With Deanna Bennett’s successful drop to 115, she drops out of the 125 rankings. All of the fighters from 4-8 in the flyweight rankings last month move up a spot. Roxanne Modafferi moves from 10 to 8, with Jin Tang (9) and Silvana Gomez (10) debuting on the list.
With her win over Mizuki Inoue, Alexa Grasso has debuted in the top ten at strawweight, taking the #8 spot. Tecia Torres (now #9) and Kalindra Faria (now #10) drop a spot.
At 105, Mina Kurobe enters the list at #9 after her win over Emi Tomimatsu at the DEEP-JEWELS tournament. Cassie Rodish drops off the list with Saori Ishioka dropping a spot to #10.