Aya Murakami secured the first title of her career at Deep-Jewels 42 in Tokyo on Sunday. She beat Suwanan Boonson by unanimous decision to become the promotion’s new microweight champion.
The Japanese fighter came into this contest on a two-fight winning streak. Boonson was last seen losing to to Seika Izawa in a super atomweight fight at Deep-Jewels 41.
Boonson was back at her natural weight class for this contest. The Thai scored the first takedown while Murakami looked to secure an ankle lock from the bottom.
The local favourite stoutly refused to give up on the submission attempt but eventually saw an opportunity to reverse the position which she did. Murakami then landed an elbow from half guard.
— Aya Murakami(村上 彩) (@aya_bjj) September 10, 2023
In the second round Murakami displayed agile footwork pumping out jabs and low kicks. Boonson countered with a powerful right cross which found its mark.
Murakami holds a black belt in BJJ so it was no surprise to see her shooting for another takedown. The 31-year-old showed good top pressure and controlled her opponent while landing the occasional burst of ground and pound.
Boonson went looking for an armbar but Murakami passed guard and tried to lock in another heel hook. She eventually gave up the submission in order to transition to top position and land elbows and punches at the end of the round.
In the final round Boonson cracked Murukami with a right calf kick and followed up with a straight right. Murakami went for the right leg but got swept and caught a knee to the body.
In the ensuing grappling exchange Boonson was taken down again but landed some elbows from the bottom. Murukami was eventually able to posture up and dish out some ground and pound of her own.
She went for a toe hold late on and although Boonson escaped there was only ever going to be one winner. All five judges scored the contest 29-28 in favour of Murakami who improves to 7-1 while her opponent drops to 5-5.
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Si Woo Park (10-5) was unfortunate not to win the Rizin Super Atomweight Tournament last year, losing by split decision to local favourite Seika Izawa in the final. She returned to Deep-Jewels action and scored a decision win over Namiko Kawabata (4-3).