Karen Pravajra made history at Pancrase 326. The 18 year old became the youngest champion in the promotion’s history after winning the strawweight title.

The achievement was particularly impressive when you consider that Pancrase was founded in 1993. Her gym commissioned a photo shoot to commemorate the occasion:


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A post shared by KAREN (@karen_pravajra)

Legendary fighters

Karen joins long list of legendary fighters to have won Pancrase titles. She is following in the footsteps of MMA pioneers like Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock.

The teenager got an early start. She made her amateur debut in 2016 at the age of just 13 and turned pro with Pancrase three years later.

After winning her first three Pancrase fights she was handed a shot at strawweight champion in Emi Fujino. Her opponent was 24 years older than her and much more experienced.

But Karen was able to finish the fight in the fourth round with a cut caused by an elbow. She made history and established herself as one of the stop strawweights in Japan in the process.


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A post shared by KAREN (@karen_pravajra)

International opportunities

The problem for the teenager is that most of the action in Japan is at super atomweight. Rizin regularly puts on fights at 108lbs and Shooto recently held a tournament in this division.

There are less opportunities for 115lbs fighters. But the UFC does have a strawweight division as does ONE Championship so there will be options for the teenager on the international scene if she decided to spread her rings.

Her teammate also challenged for a title at Pancrase 324. Nori Pravajra dropped a decision to Takayo Hashi in a fight which had the interim flyweight title on the line.

Three fighters

Her record currently stands at 4-5 but her losses have come at the hands of top tier opponents like Emi Fujino, Mizuki Inoue and Heqin Lin. The Pravajra camp appears to only have three fighters representing it.

Darani Pravajra appears to be the only male fighter. He is by far the most experienced and has a record of 13-16-9 but he is riding a three fight winning streak with Pancrase.

The fighters were all formerly fighting under the name Date but changed to Pravajra. It is not clear who is training them or where but Mamoru Yamaguchi appears to have stopped by the gym to lend a hand.