On October 22, the always fantastic DEEP organization out of Japan returns with yet another loaded offering. This time around, it’s DEEP JEWELS 26 and DEEP 92 Impact.
For those unaware, the DEEP Impact numbered series are primarily men’s bouts. Though, sometimes, the women do fight on said cards. Not often, however. No discrimination on DEEP’s end, of course! As the promotion went out of their way to create an entirely new ‘brand’ for the female competitions. That, of course, being DEEP JEWELS.
The Jewels organization has previously existed in Japan and had always been Japan’s premier spot for female mixed martial arts. Jewels was a direct successor to another all-female Japanese fighting company in Smackgirl. In 2013, DEEP absorbed the Jewels operation. Formally creating DEEP JEWELS.
Now, onto some fights!
The October 22 double-header has already it’s DEEP JEWELS 26 main event. Atomweight champion Tomo Maesawa (12-10) will return to DEEP to defend her strap against the always dangerous Emi Tomimatsu (15-14).
Outside of a 0-3 start to her MMA career, Maesawa had never lost two-straight in pro competition. That is the current streak she is on as she heads into yet another title defense, though. A longtime top-contender in DEEP JEWELS, and even the standalone Jewels promotion, Maesawa finally earned her shot at atomweight gold in December of last year. She put together a fantastic performance to dethrone Mina Kurobe on that night in the DEEP JEWELS 22 main event. Prior to this, Kurobe has only lost to the divisions elite. This cemented Tomo Maesawa in that discussion as a result.
Since that win, Maesawa has dropped two-straight. This includes a loss to RIZIN Grand-Prix champ Kanna Asakura in a DEEP JEWELS non-title bout and a first-round stoppage loss to ROAD FC champ Seo Hee Ham in RIZIN. In two months time, the 4’11 sparkplug looks to get her first title defense against a 37-year-old vet.
Emi Tomimatsu was one of the best women to compete in the original Jewels promotion. She was always in the mix for a title, but unfortunately always fell just short of that opportunity. In 2018, the Paraestra Matsudo rep went a less-than-impressive 0-2. This includes losses to a 3-3 opponent, as well as a winless South Korean in Si Woo Park, who went into their fight with an 0-2 record.
Thankfully for her, though, Tomimatsu has turned it around thus far in 2019. Holding a record of 2-0 on the year thus far, Emi Tomimatsu has won two-straight by way of submission.
Also announced for the DEEP JEWELS 26 card, the return of “King” Reina Miura (11-3).
Though winless in RIZIN since 2017, Miura is 8-0 in her DEEP / DEEP JEWELS career. This includes a massive win over Shayna Baszler in what was the Japanese stars second fight as a professional. She will look to remain undefeated under the DEEP banner against a to-be-determined opponent.
On the DEEP 92 Impact side of things, another champion is set to return.
DEEP lightweight champion Koji Takeda (8-1) is set to return to DEEP after recently suffering his first defeat as a professional to the well-rounded brawler Damien Brown at RIZIN 15. Disappointing RIZIN debut aside, the 24-year-old had looked absolutely spectacular in every fight prior to that night.
Taking out seven-straight foes utilizing sick slams, brutal ground-and-pound, a smothering top game, surprisingly decent striking, and top-notch submission skills, Takeda found himself in a title opportunity last year. In October, the prospect was standing across the cage from a legend in DEEP lightweight king Satoru Kitaoka. Making the most of this opportunity, Koji Takeda defeated Kitaoka to become the new champion.
Though it is not confirmed who the champion will face this October at DEEP 92 Impact, the title-holder has hinted at maybe wanting to go after a second belt in another division.
The card will also feature a highly-intriguing match-up between strikers as former featherweight champ Takahiro Ashida (20-10-2) takes on 11-year veteran Tatsunao Nagakura (14-8).