Momo Shimizu showed age is no barrier to success
Momo Shimizu showed age is no barrier to success News Corp Australia

12-year-old MMA fighter put in ring to fight adult

THE MMA world really is crazy.

Never was that more evident than in a bout that divided the fight world between a 12-year-old girl and someone twice her age.

Japan's Momo Shimizu - not yet a teenager - took on 24-year-old opponent Momoko Yamasaki at Deep Jewels 16 overnight. While most people would be aghast at such a match-up taking place, they needn't have worried. The 12-year-old won.

In fact, she won easily. Shimizu needed just one round to assert her dominance over Yamasaki, finishing the fight by submission.

The youngster shrugged off some early front kicks from her foe, initiating the clinch before Yamasaki fell to the floor.

Shimizu then took her back and performed a rear-naked choke which she held until the end of the first round.

The referee jumped in to check on Yamasaki and ended the fight when it was clear she was out cold, handing Shimizu the win on her amateur MMA debut.

When the fight was announced last month, amateur rules were set in place, meaning both fighters would wear headgear and strikes to the head on the ground were prohibited.

But the fight still received a huge backlash with many fight commentators disgusted that a child would be allowed to fight a professional adult.

Yamasaki is a professional fighter who now has a 2-4 career record. According to Deep Jewels, who promoted the fight, Yamasaki was bullied when she was in junior high school and then became a street fighter before finally making her way to MMA.

Momo's backstory is more mysterious. All that is known about her is that she trains at Hakuhinkai Karate, a gym that produced a few Japanese fighters, including the undefeated 19-year-old Naoki Inoue, who just signed with the

UFC, and Mizuki Inoue, a respected 22-year-old fighter with a 12-4 record.