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.
In action Monday at RXF 16 in Brașov, Romania, Delia Georgescu defeated Maia Buzas by TKO round 1.
On Thursday in Tokyo, Japan, Momo Koseki successfully defended her WBC atomweight title wiht a KO over Aisah Alico in round 2.
With fight week vastly approaching, Invicta and the UFC have announced some events before the two cards commence in L.A.
The first is an open workout at the UFC Gym/Sunergy in Terrance, CA Wednesday.
11 a.m.: Charmaine Tweet workout
11:15 a.m.: Alexa Grasso workout
11:30 a.m.: Irene Aldana workout
11:45 a.m.: “Cyborg” Justino workout
1 p.m.: Cat Zingano workout
1:30 p.m.: Raquel Pennington workout
2 p.m: Holly Holm workout
2:30 p.m.: Ronda Rousey workout
If you noticed, Justino and Rousey won’t be there at the same time. It is expected Justino will be cageside for the Rousey versus Zigano title fight Saturday. Shannon Knapp states the Justino and Rousey superfight is closer than everyone thinks.
The other UFC fight week event announced is at 11 a.m. pst Saturday at L.A. Live. The UFC will hold a press conference and fan event for the participants for the next seven events. Expected to be in attendance is Felice Herrig and Jessica Eye.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has suspended Ashlee Evans-Smith for testing positive from the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide after her fight with Raquel Pennington. Smith was fined 30% of her purse and her license is suspended for nine months retroactive from the fight. This means she will be able to return to fighting August 6th if she tests clean before she is re-licensed.
Congratulations to Society Nine on reaching their kickstarer goal. We have been helping to campaign for the company which is going to revolutionize women’s MMA gear. There is still four days left if you want to contribute and get yourself some of their great stuff including a pair of those revolutionary gloves. Go here.
Congrats to amateur MMA fighter Jackie Abshire, who is the current Steve Austin’s “Broken Skull” Challenge champ. She defeated the “Skull Buster” obstacle course record by three and a half minutes. She won $10,000 and will continue to win $10,000 every episode her time in the extreme obstacle course isn’t broken.
Next weekend, Finland’s Suvi Salmimies has a new opponent. Karla Benitez will step in to take on the hometown fighter at Cage 29 in Helsinki. Salmimies (2-0-1) will find her biggest challenged in the more experienced Spain’s Benitez (10-7-1). Benitez is coming off back to back losses,
Invicta fighter Cassie Crissano is asking for your help.
The featherweight is in a custody battle for her youngest son. You can read more and help her get a good lawyer by going here.
Fights this Weekend
Jorina Baars returns to Lion Fight to defend her Muay Thai title against Chantal Ughi. This is a rematch of their 2009 battle (video here).This will air on AXS TV.
In the only world boxing title match this weekend, Victoria Argueta defends her IBF World minimumweight title against Nancy Franco in Hidalgo, Mexico.
The DEEP-Jewels 106 title tournament starts this weekend in Tokyo, Japan. The opening round matches are as follows:
Mei Yamaguchi vs. Miyoko Kusaka (105)
Emi Tomimatsu vs. Mina Kurobe (105)
Satomi Takano vs. Masako Yoshida (105)
Tomo Maesawa vs. Yukiko Seki (105)
Besides the quarterfinal matches, Emi Fujino teams up with Sachiko Fujimori to face off against Ayaka Hamasaki and Yuko Oya in a tag team 10 minute grappling match.
In a rare Sunday UFC event in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jessica Andrade will face Marion Reneau. The fight will air on Fox Sports 1.
InvictaFC star Karolina Kowalkiewicz will fight Kalindra Faria in Poland. The match was set to be a title bout for the KSW strawweight title, but Faria missed weight by 2.2 pounds. The match will now be a three round non-title affair.
In other pro MMA bouts this weekend:
Big John’s: Ogichida Spirit – Saulte Ste Marie, MI
As I explained in my open letter, I am looking to change Wombat Sports to what it was initially meant to be. I can’t do this on my own, and that;s where you come in.
We are looking for contributors to help with writing articles and covering certain combat sports. You would also get to interview talented athletes in those sports.
The main contributors we are looking for is in women’s boxing, Muay Thai, freestyle wrestling, and BJJ. (We already have some people interested in covering the WMMA portion of the site). The cool things is I have the tools to gain news and info for these sports, just not the time to write it up. You can “learn on the job” if you aren’t an expert on these topics; but being curious is the key thing.