CHICAGO, Ill. (June 7, 2010) — Japanese MMA sensation Megumi Fujii, widely regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, will make her U.S. television debut on Thursday night on FOX Sports Net as part of the LIVE broadcast of Bellator 21 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The judo and jiu-jitsu black belt will take on 9-3 Kansas City product Sarah Schneider in the hopes of improving her unblemished pro MMA record to 20-0 and notching her 17th career submission win during what will be her first major-promotion fight on U.S. soil.
Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com and at the Hard Rock Live box office.
The 36-year-old Fujii is also one of four confirmed participants in Bellator’s forthcoming Season 3 Women’s Tournament along with 11-1 British tae-kwon-do black belt Rosi Sexton (the world’s No. 1-ranked 125 lbs. female fighter), 12-5 Seattle submission artist Lisa Ward and 7-0 Southern California striker Jessica Pene. The tournament kicks off in August.
“With our Season 3 Women’s Tournament now just three months away, this fight between Megumi Fujii and Sarah Schneider on Thursday gives U.S. MMA fans their first opportunity to see the woman many believe is the best female fighter in the world,” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “This fight will be a tough test as she prepares for an extremely strong tournament field. As a fan, I can’t wait to watch on Thursday and in August.”
Fujii was trained in MMA by Shooto veteran Hiroyuki Abe and top heavyweight Josh Barnett and is known for her quick takedowns and skilled submissions. Remarkably, only three of her 19 victories have come by decision with the rest coming via a wide variety of submissions – most frequently the inazuma toe hold, which has been dubbed the “Megulock.”
Fuji said through her translator that she is ecstatic to be fighting under the Bellator banner.
“Bellator is a great organization and they have some excellent competition,” she said. “I’m looking to stick to my game plan, get submissions and win the tournament. That’s my only goal.”