Do you remember what you were doing at age 17? Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t getting ready for your ninth professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bout.
Osaka, Japan’s Moeri Suda makes her RIZIN debut this weekend (Sat., July 2, 2022) at RIZIN 36. Despite still being a high school student, Suda (5-3) hasn’t already gotten some rather large opportunities as she enters the promotion off a loss in her first career title fight just last month (May 2022) at Deep Jewels 37.
“I was very happy to get 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 coming off a loss. I’m very scared to lose again. In order for me to offset my fear, I’ve been practicing a lot harder to become more confident to be able to step into the ring in a more confident way.
“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 who she is today,” she continued. “One of my biggest takeaways is that her determination and amount of commitment put into the sport was much more different than what I put into it so I understood why she’s there and the reason she’s the current champion.”
Competing in Deep Jewels for her whole career up to this point, Suda’s pro-MMA journey began as early as Halloween 2020. Before that, she had two amateur grappling matches capped off with one MMA fight.
Having displayed her dangerous submission and grappling abilities in all five of her victories, Suda got into combat sports through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) but made the transition to MMA after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all competitions. Admitting that striking was scary at first, Suda highlighted her father, former fighter Tomoyuki Suda, as a helpful aid in getting her ready for the road ahead.
Suda squares off with fellow Deep Jewels Atomweight competitor, Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro, at RIZIN 36 and she plans for it to be just another walk in a hopefully long career.
“I started MMA in high school,” Suda said. “I always had a goal where I wanted to become 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 the sport. I was very excited to know one of my goals was right in front of me and I came very close to accomplishing my goal.
“My [ultimate] goal is to have a long career in this sport so my goal is to have 50 professional fights,” she concluded. “That’s what I’m shooting for.”
Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or you can listen on Spotify.