Rin Nakai becomes the Queen of Pancrase

By Al Stover
Rafael Suanes – US Presswire

Another historical moment has been made in women’s mixed martial arts, and this time it has happened in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Japanese superstar Rin Nakai beat British fighter Danielle West to become the Queen of Pancrase at 135 pounds (61.2 kg) on Dec. 1 at Pancrase: Progress Tour 14.

Nakai defeated West in a grueling bout to earn a decision victory. She had previously fought the “Honey Badger” back in September 2011 that resulted in a split-decision draw.

Although the fight itself provided enough action, there was drama before the two stepped into the ring.

At the weigh-ins, Nakai was able make weight while West had come in overweight. West attributed the flight as a factor towards the difficulty of cutting weight. The fight went on as schedule; however, no chokes or knees were allowed during the match.

Although Pancrase may not be as well known in the MMA world, it is one of the oldest organizations, founded in 1993 by Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki.

With her title win, Nakai extends her MMA record to 13-0-0 with one draw. She also joins the list of notable champions who are referred to as “Kings of Pancrase.”

The list of champions includes MMA legends such as Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock and Josh Barnett. Former UFC champion Ken Shamrock won the first King of Pancrase tournament in 1994.

With women’s MMA continuing to rise, Pancrase may be able to establish a solid women’s bantamweight division with Nakai on the throne.


What do you think of Nakai winning the Queen of Pancrase title? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hasthag #RantMMA

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