Do you remember what you were doing at 17? Either way, he probably wasn’t preparing for your ninth professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.
Osaka, Japan’s Moeri Suda makes her RIZIN debut this weekend (Saturday, July 2, 2022) at RIZIN 36. Despite still being a high school student, Suda (5-3) hasn’t had any big enough opportunities yet upon entering the promotion after a loss in his first career title fight last month (May 2022) at Deep Jewels 37.
“I was very happy to have such an offer on such a big stage at my age,” Suda told MMA Mania on BROADENED HORIZIN. “But at the same time, I was also concerned about getting this offer after suffering a loss. I’m very afraid of losing again. In order to compensate for my fear, I trained much harder to become more confident and be able to step into the ring with more confidence.
“I could feel [Saori Oshima’s] commitment and dedication to the sport and I understood why she is the champion and why she is the fighter that she is today,” she continued. “One of my biggest takeaways is that her determination and commitment to the sport was way more different than what I put into it, so I understood why she’s there and why she’s the current champion.”
Competing in Deep Jewels for her entire career so far, Suda’s pro-MMA journey began as early as Halloween 2020. Prior to that, she had two amateur grappling matches capped off with an MMA bout.
After showing his dangerous submission and wrestling abilities in his five wins, Suda got into combat sports through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) but made the transition to MMA after the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has stopped all competitions. Admitting that hitting was scary at first, Suda pointed to her father, veteran Tomoyuki Suda, as a helpful aid in preparing her for the road ahead.
Suda takes on fellow Deep Jewels Atomweight contender, Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro, at RIZIN 36 and she anticipates it to be just another ride in a hopefully long career.
“I started MMA in high school,” Suda said. “I always had a goal where I wanted to be a champion while I was in high school. So the moment I got that offer, that was one of the reasons I worked so hard in sport. I was very excited to know that one of my goals was right in front of me and I was very close to achieving my goal.
“My [ultimate] my goal is to have a long career in this sport so my goal is to have 50 professional fights,” she concluded. “That’s why I shoot.”
Watch the full episode in the embedded video above or you can listen on Spotify.