Japanese mixed martial arts is known for its pageantry and freak show bouts, but an announcement over the weekend really raised everyone’s eyebrows.
At an event next month, DEEP JEWELS 16, a 12-year-old girl known as “MoMo” will be making her MMA debut.
While it likely makes you uncomfortable enough that a pre-teen is set to fight in mixed martial arts, it gets even worse when you realize she is fighting a woman twice her age with five amateur bouts under her belt.
MoMo will be facing 24-year-old Momoko Yamasaki in a 95-pound minimumweight.
The silver lining is that both women will be wearing headgear and strikes to the head of a grounded opponent are not legal.
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One thing about this matchup which has got the Japanese world talking is the fact that a 12-year-old will make her MMA debut against an adult veteran of four fights. In the amateur rules for DEEP JEWELS, striking to the head on the ground is not allowed. Both fighters will be wearing head gear.
MoMo (0-0 Am) will be hoping for a successful showing in her MMA debut. It should be noted that the 12-year-old weighs roughly 86-pounds, so Momo will be giving up around 9 lbs to fight an adult. She trains out of Hakuhinkai Karate, the team that has produced notable Japanese talents including Mizuki, Naoki Inoue, and Yukari Yamaguchi.
DEEP JEWELS 16 takes place May 20 and will be live streamed on the DEEP JEWELS website, if you’re into this bizarro matchup.