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12-year-old girl to have her MMA debut against 24-year-old woman, prompting condemnation

April 27, 2017

A 12-year-old girl named Momo is reportedly scheduled to make her MMA debut in Japan next month against 24-year-old Momoko Yamazaki at the minimum weight class of 95 pounds — a decision that some professional fighters have condemned for putting the health of a child at risk. The fight, scheduled for May 20 at Deep Jewels 16 in Tokyo, would fall under amateur rules — a stipulation that entails that both fighters wear headgear and avoiding striking downed opponents — but experts, including professional fighter and instructor Roxanne Modafferi, say that the risk of head injury remains significant.

Japan is no stranger to debuting young fighters. In 2007, a 16-year-old named Rena Kubota made her kickboxing debut in Japan before eventually moving onto MMA in 2015. In 2010, 16-year-old Mizuki Inoue began her professional MMA career — also after having started her career in kickboxing. Inoue has since gone on a successful MMA career. Momo, for starters, will have to focus on surviving not only her first official fight, but an opponent twice her age.

Read the full story at Bleacher Report.


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