Tucked away in the city of Toyohashi, Sadanori Yamaguchi of Hakushinkai Karate is developing a completely unorthodox MMA gym. The 450-square foot spartan facility has one punching bag, one bench press, one leg press, and a single mat.
From this humble gym, multiple up and coming UFC fighters have emerged, and now Momo, a star female student at only 12 years old, will be taking on a woman twice her age in the DEEP Jewels promotion.
The initial reaction to this fight was outrage. Some cried “child abuse” as the announcement of the fight made the rounds of MMA media. It turns out Momo already has 100 amateur fights in BJJ, kickboxing, and karate combined. That’s far more experience than her upcoming opponent, Momoko Yamazaki, who works at Hostess Bar and allegedly barely trains.
The small gym is known for creating young talent such as Yukari, who won her first pro MMA fight at the age of 15 (you can go pro at 15 in Japan), defeating Mei Yamaguchi who is now a contender in ONE FC. DEEP has also pitted teens vs adults before, with both fights being won by the younger fighter.