After months in hibernation, JEWELS - the female-only Japanese MMA promotion which rose from the ashes of Smackgirl - has announced some details on their upcoming "3rd Ring" show, scheduled for May 16th at Korakuen Hall. The big development is the addition of Shoot Boxing rules matches to the lineup; for the uninitiated, shoot boxing is a mutated form of kickboxing which uses K-1 rules but allows standing submissions. The style was developed in the mid-80s by Caesar Takeshi and has enjoyed a resurgence in Japan over the last few years, with MMA fighters like Chris Horodecki and Luiz Azeredo participating in Shoot Boxing's 2008 "S-Cup" tournament.
It was announced after a Shoot Boxing show at Korakuen last week that JEWELS and Shoot Boxing have formed an alliance which will allow them to share fighters and grow both sports. JEWELS' top star and former Smackgirl submission ace Megumi Fujii already competed in a Shoot Boxing match last September. (She dropped a majority decision, but has said she enjoyed the experience and hopes to do it again.)
JEWELS fighter Saori Ishioka (7-3) will fight in a Shoot Boxing rules match at the May event, and though her opponent was not announced, she stated she would like to face kickboxing high school student REINA (Lena), who fought last month in K-1's first ever women's bout.
Meanwhile, the oversized HIROKO (Yuko Yamanaka) voiced a concern which may sound familiar to American fans of WMMA: "I'm sad... I'm too big, can't find opponent!"
Here's how the third JEWELS card looks right now, with thanks to Japan-MMA:
Misato Tomita vs. TBA
Saori Ishioka vs. TBA
Also announced as participants: