Although known for its legendary MMA scene, Japan is also known for staging freakshows-kind of fights. Some time ago, a twelve-year-old was booked against an opponent twice her age in a Japanese promotion. However, to everyone’s surprise, she actually won the fight.
The twelve-year-old Momo Shimizu was set to fight the 24-year-old Momoko Yamazaki despite having zero fights in MMA. The backlash gets bigger after it was revealed that her much older opponent is a veteran of eight professional fights. The controversial bout was a part of the DEEP JEWELS 16 fight card in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
However, despite the criticism, the fight still happened. The two exchanged some punches early in the opening round. But not so long after, Shimizu shot a takedown and successfully changed level.
Even though much more experienced than her opponent, Yamazaki seems to have no answer for Shimizu’s ground game. After outwrestling her older opponent for a while, Shimizu then found an opportunity for a rear-naked choke and executed it nicely. Seeing the helpless Yamazaki in the choke, the referee immediately stopped the contest.
For her first-round submission victory, Shimizu was awarded a cuddle toy, a box of protein, and a trophy. Meanwhile, her opponent Yamazaki was clearly in distress while still recovering from the tight choke.
Prior to her MMA debut, Shimizu only trained in a small karate gym and had little confidence in winning.
“I don’t have firm confidence to win this fight, but I don’t think I will lose or anything like that,” she said.
Despite that, her coach, Shu Hirata is confident in her student from the beginning. She also claimed that despite the huge gap in age, Shimizu might have more experience in fighting than Yamazaki.
“Momo has been training MMA six times a week at least three hours a day ever since when she was in the kindergarten,” Hirata explained. “Momo already had 100 amateur fights in BJJ, kickboxing, and karate combined which is far more experience than her upcoming opponent Momoko Yamazaki who actually works at Hostess Bar and barely trains. This is not the first time Jewels put teenagers against an adult.”
Since the win over Yamazaki, Shimizu has fought another two times in DEEP JEWELS, winning both fights, with one by a finish. She also competed once in Shootboxing, winning the bout by unanimous decision.