Rin Nakai is an undefeated (16-0-1) women’s bantamweight mixed martial artist, and current Queen of Pancrase. She recently faced Invicta FC veteran, Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (Seriously, watch Invicta) this Sunday at Pancrase 258, defeating her by unanimous decision. There are two things of note when talking about Rin Nakai, the first is that her record is laughably padded, and any credible opponent is limited in their available offensive tactics.
Rin has fought a slew of professional wrestlers, and when she isn’t shoot-punching Kyoko Kimura, her opponents are banned from using knees and going for chokes due to missing weight. Typically, not meeting the decided upon weight results in a deduction of the fight purse, or the bout doesn’t happen, but because Japan is weird, the fight goes on, just with one person at a severe disadvantage. Oh, and if any of Nakai’s opponents had say, knocked her out, the bout would have been recorded as a no contest, so there was literally no way for Nakai to be beaten on some of those occasions.
Why on earth would Pancrase go to such lengths to protect Rin Nakai? Well, that answer is the basis of the second talking point about Rin Nakai: she is one of Pancrase’s biggest stars and they have marketed the sh*t out of her. There’s “semi-innocuous” stuff like going to a weigh-in in a bunny costume. I mean, Felice Herrig has worn sexy costumes to weigh-ins, and that’s fine, I guess. However, when you dive into the abyss that is the Pancrase YouTube page, some really messed up stuff bubbles to the surface.
Like, for instance, having Rin make desserts while only wearing an apron. Okay, that’s not too bad, I guess, but then at the end, we’ve got Rin splattered with whipped cream and berries. That’s kinda creepy, right?
It gets weirder and weirder, though. How on earth is having a fighter pretend to vacuum the mats a thing that Pancrase would put on their official YouTube channel? Is it just because she’s a woman, or is it because she’s an extremely muscular woman?
The kicker, though, is this video. Rin has giant beetles put on her because she’s terrified and that makes for compelling footage. Or, as an online associate of mine put it, the reason for covering Rin in insects is “they make her all squirmy and that makes her breasts heave. Do I have to draw you a picture?” and he obliged:
— Taka #1 USA Fan (@coconono) March 27, 2014
I’m not certain, but from what limited amount of information I’ve been able to uncover, Rin is in some kind of weird, Fear Factor-esque contract loop. Nakai is forced into doing things that are horrible, exploitative, and clearly disgust her, like the beetle video. As recompense, Pancrase uses her as a muscular force of terror as she punches out retired joshi and frightened housewives.
Ultimately, I know Pancrase will never stop with their “kitten held at gunpoint behind the camera” tactics of getting Rin to do horrible things to herself in exchange for hitting people, but dang if the whole situation doesn’t make me feel really gross for liking those Yes We Are Hybrid Wrestlers. Maybe we could get Paulo Thiago, Mirko Filipovic, and Tim Kennedy to put their special forces training to use to rescue Rin from Pancrase’s island skull fortress.