Rin Nakai made it ten wins in a row at Deep-Jewels 40 last weekend. The 36 year old has been very vocal about wanting the opportunity to compete in the UFC as a flyweight.
Her first stint with the promotion was at 135lbs and Nakai wasn’t successful. But she has not lost a fight since being released in 2016 and had a message for the reigning UFC flyweight champion after her win over Aoi Kuriyama in Tokyo last weekend.
Valentina Shevchenko was ringside to see Nakai submit Kuriyama with a rear naked choke in the second round. She is training in Tokyo ahead of her title fight at UFC 285 next month.
The UFC flyweight champion responded to Nakai in extremely polite fashion:
Come back to .@ufc get yourself into to #Top10 and I am willing to check your skills 👊👊
Also congratulations with your recent victory 👊 https://t.co/5cowJrWZz3
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) February 19, 2023
List of demands
While Shevchenko’s list of demands sounds quite reasonable Nakai still has a lot of work to do if she wants to challenge the champion. First of all she needs to persuade the UFC to sign her again, and having won ten in a row it is difficult to see what else the 36 year old could possibly do.
Then she would need to break into the top ten by beating a ranked opponent. This is something she failed to do during her first stint with the UFC, losing to both Miesha Tate and Leslie Smith.
But those fights were both at bantamweight and Nakai’s recent success has come at here more natural weight of 125lbs. She extended her record to 26-2-1 by submitting the overmatched Kuriyama in the second round.
She has effectively cleared out the competition in Japan and is running out of opponents. Kuriyama did come into the contest on a two fight winning streak but saw her record drop to 4-5-1 after this defeat.
皆様お疲れ様です🙇#中井りん #RinNakai pic.twitter.com/DNnktL86FE
— Rin Nakai 中井りん (@RinNakai2) February 19, 2023
While Nakai is clearly coming towards the end of her career there was a big win for up and coming prospect Machi Fukuda (2-0) looks to have a bright future. She finished Namiko Kawabata (4-2) with a rear naked choke in the second round of their strawweight fight.
Deep-Jewels 40, Tokyo, February 18th
Rin Nakai def. Aoi Kuriyama via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 4:31 of R1
Machi Fukuda def. Namiko Kawabata via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 4:55 of R1
Hikaru Aono def. Kate Oyama via Decision (Unanimous)
Akari Kamise def. Momoko Yamazaki via Decision (Unanimous)
Eru Takebayashi def. Hitomi Taniyama via Decision (Unanimous)
Tae Murayama def. Sayaka Hishinuma via Decision (Unanimous)
Mayumi Aoki def. PochanZ Yuko via Decision (Unanimous)
Kyoka Minagawa def. Koyuki via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 2:03 of R2
Mana Akagi def. Haruka Suzuki via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 1:54 of R2