A 12-year-old female Japanese fighter recently breezed through her MMA debut in style by easily dominating an opponent twice her age.
Youngster Momo Shimizu defeated 24-year-old Momoko Yamasaki via a first round rear-naked choke on Saturday at the Deep Jewels 16 in Tokyo, Japan.
At the beginning of the 95-pound minimum weight division match, the 150 cm (4′ 11″) tall rookie took some early hits to the head before unleashing her skills and turning the fight in her favor.
Within the same round, the pre-teen fighter was able to pummel her nemesis and forcefully pin her down. Shimizu then took Yamasaki from behind with a rear-naked choke and held her grip until the end of the round, with the match ending in submission.
When the match-up was announced the month before, it immediately earned massive backlash from sports analysts, News.com.au reports. Promoters then guaranteed to protect the younger fighter’s safety by using amateur rules, in which strikes to the head on the ground were not allowed and both fighters were required to wear headgear.
Still, many criticized the fact that a child is being allowed to fight a professional adult. Shimizu’s opponent Yamasaki is a professional fighter who fell to a 2-4 win-loss record following her recent loss.
Deep Jewels, the fight’s promoter, stated that Yamasaki became a street fighter after experiencing bullying in junior high school. The promoting firm claimed that she had been fighting even before she trained to join the MMA.
Shimizu, on the other hand, reportedly came from a gym called Hakuhinkai Karate, a prolific stable which produced the undefeated 19-year-old Naoki Inoue, who has recently signed with UFC, and 22-year-old talented fighter Mizuki Inoue.