MMA, martial arts

Mei Yamaguchi earns 5th ONE Championship win, beats Laura Balin at ‘ONE: Enter the Dragon’ in Singapore

Mei Yamaguchi, Olivier Coste, Laura Balin (© ONE Championship)

Mei Yamaguchi, Olivier Coste, Laura Balin (© ONE Championship)

Training out of Riki Gym, Gods and HybridFighter, Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi, 36, of Tokyo, Japan was one of the winners at “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” It was her fifth victory in Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship.

Featuring 10 mixed martial arts matches and six ONE Super Series contests, which were six kickboxing bouts, “ONE: Enter the Dragon” was the Singapore-based martial arts organization’s second event in 2019 that took place in Singapore. In the fourth bout of the evening, Yamaguchi fought Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin, 39, of Argentina in an MMA bout in the women’s atomweight division with Olivier Coste as the referee.

Yamaguchi wasted little time in taking Balin down and patiently worked her way into an arm-triangle choke. The Argentinian contender managed to survive, but merely prolonged the inevitable as her Japanese opponent immediately transitioned into an armbar.

Coste put a stop to the atomweight bout after 3 minutes and 46 seconds in the first round. Yamaguchi submitted Balin via armbar.

Winning at “ONE: Enter the Dragon” improved the professional MMA record of Yamaguchi to 20 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw. On the other hand, Balin now has 11 wins and 5 losses.

Yamaguchi was originally set to face Meng Bo, 23, of China at “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” The Chinese contender was pulled out from the card due to injury and was replaced by Balin.

While Yamaguchi was one of the four representatives of Japan at “ONE: Enter the Dragon,” Balin solely represented Argentina. Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States were also represented.

A former DEEP Jewels World Champion, Yamaguchi was 7 years old when she started her training in karate in the U.S. “ONE: Enter the Dragon” marked her eighth bout in ONE Championship.

Competing professionally since 2009, Yamaguchi she joined ONE Championship in 2016.  The first four opponents she defeated in the promotion were Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang, 28, of Taiwan, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 29, of the Philippines, Jomary “The Zamboanganian Fighter” Torres, 23, of the Philippines and Kseniya “The Tigress” Lachkova, 23, of Russia.

More photos from Yamaguchi and Balin’s bout are on Top Sports Asia.

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