The world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is widely known for its savagery. Unlike boxing, MMA allows for a variety of fighting style, bringing it as close to a real-life Street Fighter tournament as possible. Rules are scarce and it’s not unheard of for fighters to get carried out of the ‘octagon cage’ with concussions, broken bones and covered in blood. Of course, with so many available fight styles present, it’s difficult to know what will or will not be an even match-up. In a bid for higher ratings, some matches will be purposively unfair for one of the fighters. Now, Japan has taken things up a notch with a recently announced match-up that has people up in arms about what a fighting competition is allowed to do organize.
In May of this year, a mere month from now, a 12-year-old girl weighing in at 86 pounds is set to enter the MMA octagon and compete. The girl, only identified as ‘MoMo’ is plastered on promotional material for the Japanese DEEP JEWELS 16 MMA event on the 20th. To have children fighting in the ring in a sport this brutal, would be outrageous in and of itself. But the organizers, not shy of exploitation to make a quick buck, kicked things up a notch by matching the seventh grader up with a fighter 12 years older than her. The 24-year-old Momoko Yamasaki does not seem to have qualms with being part of DEEP JEWELS’ media circus, offering up her fists to the face of a girl half her age and nine pounds lighter.
According to WMMArankings, Yamasaki has fought at an amateur level before. Five times before, in fact. Although young MoMo has trained at the respected Hakuhinkai Karate gym, perhaps that alone should not give the organizers permission to have her still developing brain get pummelled in the ring. The fight is slated to be a two-round fight with each round lasting three minutes. Those same organizers are heavily pushing the story that Yamasaki was bullied as a child and uses MMA as her anger outlet. This spells disaster for her 12-year-old opponent. But according to the organizers, they have, however, done MoMo a kindness: she’ll be permitted to wear head protection during the fight.
[Yamasaki’s] experience is said to have triggered her to became a delinquent which lead to series of “tale of triumphs on the street.”