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SMACK GIRL – 02/13/2008: ‘Megumi Fujii is the Only Japanese to Advance to the Semi-Final!’

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In the beginning of the opening round, Megumi Fujii clinched and threw Cindy Hales to the ground but besides this both stood exchanging mainly kicks to the body. Megumi from her southpaw stance, and Cindy, utilizing her reach landed a few left kicks to the body. Megumi grabbed Cindy’s kicking leg tripped her down to the ground but couldn’t follow through. Megumi looked like she was having a little trouble holding Cindy down. However at the end of the first round Megumi intentionally allowed Cindy to grab her kicking leg, then shot in quickly went for her signature ankle lock but the Gracie Barra fighter from Seattle was saved by the bell. Megumi revealed, "The other three Japanese fighters lost so I couldn’t lose it here and I didn’t want it to end with a decision", after the fight. "It didn’t matter if I ended up on the bottom, I just went for it". Right off the bell, Megumi went for a jumping armbar. It was executed in a perfect timing and next thing you know, Cindy’s arm was extended, and that was the end of the fight. Cindy tapped and Megumi improved her perfect MMA record to 14-0. Her opponent in the semi-final, on April 25th is going to be against Su Hi Ham from Korea. After the fight Megumi talked about Ham, "Her punch looks like it will hurt a lot. Compared to the open finger gloves overseas, the gloves used in the Smack Girl are bigger but every one who fought her, when her punch landed on their face snapped. I want to avoid it as much as possible, and I want to initiate my moves." Megumi also shared her thoughts on the other semi-final, the fight between Lisa Ward and Michelle Tavarez, "Both fighters are strong. Whoever has a better balance on the day of the fight will win."

Other Japanese fighters in the first round of this lightweight tournament were all defeated on this day. Michelle dominated Kyoko Takabayashi both standing and on the ground. Michelle unleashed fast combinations to pressure Takabayashi in the standing battle, and even Kyoko was able to score a take down, Michelle kept active from the bottom, almost nailed Kyoko in a triangle. Eventually Michelle waited for Kyoko’s shoot, then snapped on an armbar from the bottom for a tapout win early in the second round. Lisa Ward immediately took Edge to the ground, got the mount position attempting an arm bar and then a kimura. Edge followed the  instructions of Shinya Aoki who was on her corner somehow defending till the referee stepped in. Back in the standing position, both fighters exchanged a few and then Lisa took Edge again to the ground, but this time Edge countered with a heel lock. Lisa countered it with an ankle hold, and when Lisa’s heel slipped out of Edge’s arm, it was all over. Edge’s ankle was in too deep she had no choice but to tap. Su Hi Ham was solid against Saori Ishioka. She landed a series of kicks to the body, kicks to the legs, and with her one-two combinations, scored a standing eight early in the first round. Saori barely survived Ham’s attack and took it to the ground for an armbar but Ham pulled out of it with pure strength. From there it was Ham most of the fight. Saori landed a good right straight that seemed to stun Ham but overall, it was a dominating performance by this best Korean MMA female fighter at 115 lbs & under.

SMACKGIRL WORLD ReMix TOURNAMENT 2008 Opening Round
Thursday February 14th, 2008
At Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Complete Results:

6th Match – Lightweight Tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Megumi Fujii (Japan / AACC) vs. Cindy Hales (U.S.A. / Gracie Barra Seattle)
Winner: 2R 0’27" Megumi Fujii by Tapout (armbar)

5th Match – Open-weight tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Hitomi Akano (Japan / AACC) vs. Megumi Yabushita (Japan / Freelance)
Winner: 2R 4’16" Hitomi Akano by Tapout (heel lock)

4th Match – Lightweight Tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Lisa Ward (U.S.A. / United Fight Team) vs. Edge (Japan / Angura)
Winner: 1R 4’41" Lisa Ward by Tapout (ankle lock)

3rd Match – Lightweight Tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Su Hi Ham (Korea / CMA Korea) vs. Saori Ishioka (Japan / Karate Zendo- kai)
Winner: 2R Su Hi Ham by Decision (3-0)

2nd Match – Lightweight Tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Michelle Tavarez (Brazil / Nova Uniao) vs. Kyoko Takabayashi (Japan / ALIVE)
Winner: 2R 0’26" Michelle Tavarez by Tapout (armbar)

1st Match – Open-weight tournament First Round 5 min / 2R
Tama☆chan (Japan / AgeAge☆) vs. Atsuko Enomoto (Japan / Freelance)
Winner: 2R Atsuko Enomoto by Decision (3-0)

– Discovery Fights –

3rd Match – 56 kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Madoka Okada (Japan / Angura) vs. Sakura Nakamura (Japan / Karate Zendo-kai)
Winner: 1R 4’43" Madoka Okada by Tapout (rear naked choke)

2nd Match – 50 kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Masako Yoshida (Japan / AgeAge☆) vs. Asami Odera (Japan / REDIPS)
Winner: 2R Masako Yoshida by Decision (3-0)

Middleweight Bout 5 min / 2R
HARUMI (Japan / AgeAge☆) vs. Megu (Japan / Kareate Zendo-kai)
1R 1’19" Megu by Tapout (armbar)

Report and photo by Yoshinori IHARA (www.boutreview.com)

PIC: Megumi Fujii (left) finished Cindy Hales with this beautiful flying arm bar.

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