Japanese combat sport specialist Mizuki Inoue is one step closer to capturing her first world championship.
In the first round of the Deep-Jewels Lightweight title tournament, Inoue defeated veteran Emi Fujino by way of decision at Deep- Jewels 2, Nov. 4. Deep-Jewels announced a tournament for the lightweight championship, back in August, after former title holder Ayaka Hamasaki vacated the belt due to injury.
If Inoue is finished fighting for the year, than this is a good way to cap off what was an exciting 2013 for the 19-year-old from Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. In addition to her win over Fujino, Inoue defeated Seo Ye Jung back in March, and Bec Hyatt back in July. The win over Hyatt was not only an upset for Inoue, but also it was her mixed martial arts debut in North America.
Besides having success in mixed martial arts in 2013, Inoue won her second Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5 kg tournament championship three weeks after defeating Hyatt.
As for Tominmatsu, she defeated Mika Nagano in the first round of the tournament, which snapped a three-fight losing streak and avenged a loss she suffered at the hands of the “Future Princess.” Although Tominmatsu’s 6-7 may make her the dark horse of the tournament and the underdog in the fight against Inoue, she has what it takes to take the tournament crown.
Winning the tournament could open a lot of doors for Inoue. She could get a call to return to Invicta FC and face Hyatt in a rematch.
Another interesting scenario would be if Hamasaki came back from her injury and challenged Inoue for the lightweight title. It would be fair as Hamasaki was not actually beaten for the belt. She is also the only person to defeat Inoue in mixed martial arts competition.
Inoue is scheduled Emi Tomimatsu in the finals of the tournament in February 2014.
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