Even though I have no intention of making it a habit to review MMA events, since Syuri is one of my favorite wrestlers I felt it necessary to promote the fact she is a legitimate MMA fighter/badass as well. Syuri started her MMA career as a kickboxer back in 2009, and she went 13-1 before joining Pancrase in early 2016. She won her debut fight in Pancrase on April 24th, 2016, with her second fight taking place on July 24th.
Pancrase is one of the longest running MMA promotions in the world, having been founded in 1993. When it began, Pancrase had unique rules as the matches used a points-based system and the action took place in a ring, but today their rules are more in-line with the UFC and the matches take place in a cage. For years there were accusations that some Pancrase fights were ‘worked’, which turned out to be the case, however Pancrase has been a legitimate MMA promotion since at least the late 90s. The promotion started using the cage and modified their rules in 2012, after a change in ownership. Pancrase also uses a open-scoring system, meaning the judges announce who is winning after each round, which is very interesting as the fighters know where they stand. This card aired on UFC Fight Pass, making it readily available for fans of both MMA and Syuri in particular as she continues to try to rise up the Pancrase card.
Event: Pancrase 279
Date: July 24th, 2016
Location: Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 2,096
Syuri Kondo vs. Nicolle Angelica Caliari
On a 17 match card, Syuri’s match was 7th and was the first women’s fight on the event. This was the second MMA fight of Nicolle’s career as she is only 19 years old, however she did win her first match in Imortal FC on December 23rd, 2015. Even though Syuri has an extensive Kickboxing record, it doesn’t carry over to MMA since the rules are totally different, making Syuri’s official record 1-0 coming into the fight. On the awesome Tapology Ranking
, Syuri is currently ranked as the #14 woman MMA fighter in Japan while Nicolle is #45, so with her experience Syuri was the favorite to win.
Since Syuri’s primary background is kickboxing, she prefers to keep the action on her feet but does know submissions as well if the fight goes to the ground. Syuri kept Nicolle back with leg kicks, Syuri connects with the first punches of the night before pushing Nicolle against the cage. Syuri gets Nicolle to the mat and into the mount, but she jumps back off and both fighters return to their feet. Both fighters exchange punches, Syuri connects with a right and she pushes Nicolle against the cage again. Takedown by Syuri and she hits a few hammerfists before turning to her feet, kicks to the leg by Syuri and she punches Nicolle as she returns to her feet. Syuri gets a third takedown, she returns to her feet and kicks Nicolle in the leg as the round comes down to a close.
Syuri is leading after Round 1, as she had three takedowns and connected with numerous leg kicks and punches. Nicolle had a few strikes land, but was outmatched in Round 1. The judges all agree with my technical assessment.
Nicolle shows some damage on her face from the previous round as both start the second round cautiously, Syuri connects with a few punches but not a lot of action in the first two minutes. Syuri gets Nicolle against the cage again after Nicolle delivers a few punches, double leg takedown by Syuri and she holds down Nicolle with little action. Syuri gets in the side mount at about the 1:30 mark, nothing is happening but the referee isn’t standing them up. The round ends with them in the same position, as little happened in Round 2.
Syuri is still leading, as she did take down Nicolle and keep her down for three minutes. It wasn’t the most interesting round as it was pretty uneventful, but Nicolle continues to have difficulty getting out of Syuri’s mount unless Syuri lets her up. All three judges score the second round for Syuri as well, meaning Nicolle needs a knockout or a submission to win this fight.
Syuri looks a little winded going into the round, and knowing she is up 2-0 she may be looking to coast here to a victory. Syuri goes for a kick but Nicolle avoids it, punches by Syuri and she gets Nicolle against the cage again. Double leg takedown by Syuri but she gets up and kicks Nicolle in the legs until she stands up. Nicolle charges Syuri and connects with a few punches, Syuri pushes Nicolle against the cage but this time Nicolle gets free. They trade blows, with Syuri connecting better than Nicolle, as we reach the final minute of the match. Nicolle gets Syuri up against the cage this time and starts swinging, but Syuri slides away. As the fight winds down, they end up against the cage again until the bell rings.
I also had this round for Syuri, however it was closer than the first two. Nicolle threw more punches but did have trouble connecting, and Syuri still had the only takedown while having more cage control.
After deliberating, it is announced that Syuri has won by Unanimous Decision!
I won’t do a ‘traditional’ review score since I don’t think its really possible to rate a legitimate fight, however Syuri looked good in her second match in Pancrase. She still has some holes in her game that need work, as she struggled to do anything when she had Nicolle in a mount position, but being a kickboxer that will likely be her weakest area. She controlled the action however and picked up a solid win against the youngster from Brazil.