Miki Motono stops Asami Nakai, claims Deep-Jewels interim strawweight title
Miko Motono is the new interim strawweight champion. The 26-year-old scored a stoppage win over Asami Nakai in the main event of Deep-Jewels 29, which took place at the Shinjuku Face in Tokyo on Thursday.
Motono wasted no time when the opening bell sounded. After dodging a right straight from Nakai, she pressed forward, pushed her opponent back along the ropes, and then grabbed a body lock.
As Nakai made her best effort to break from the clutches of her ring counterpart, Motono responded by executing a spirited tackle to plant her adversary on the canvas and moved straight into side control.
From that position, she started firing away with rapid-fire blows, eventually allowing her to secure the mount. With Nakai struggling to escape, she unloaded with a plethora of punches once again.
Referee Minoru Toyonaga to step in and call a halt to the contest at the 4:23 mark of the opening round. With the impressive win Motono climbs to 5-1 meanwhile Nakai dropped to a 4-3 slate.
Motono was emotional when she spoke in her post-fight interview, recalling her first career loss at the hands of Casey O’Neill for the Eternal MMA women’s strawweight title in October of last year.
“I’m so relieved. I’m very happy to win because I’ve been working really hard to become a champion. I once had a title match in Australia, but I lost. I was so disappointed that I lost, so I came to this day thinking that I will do everything I can to be victorious,” she said.
“I’m glad to have this belt around my waist at the end. I’d been a challenger for a long time, and today, I’ve become a champion,” Motono continued.
Now having the interim Deep Jewels strawweight belt in her possession, Motono has her sights on competing in Rizin,
“I’ve achieved my goal of becoming champion here in Deep Jewels. My next goal is to fight for Rizin and become the promotion’s big star. I’ll do my best to be able to do it,” she stated.
There was a last minute change in the bout lineup as the much-awaited kickboxing showdown between Reina Miura and Marina Kumagai was moved to Deep 95 on August 22. It was replaced by a tag team submission elimination match, pitting the duo of Ayaka Hamasaki and Emi Tomimatsu against the pair of Tomo Maesawa and Mizuki Furuse.
The pairing was determined through rock-paper-scissors at the center of the ring just before the match. First up was Hamasaki who eliminated Furuse with an armbar at the 1:10 mark.
Tomimatsu and Maesawa relived their mixed martial arts rivalry by going at it in a grappling exhibition. With Maesawa being able to fend off advances, Tomimatsu tagged in Hamasaki, who quickly scored a double-leg takedown and forced the tap with another armbar at 6:42.