Sumiko Inaba has quickly become one of the most exciting 125 pound prospects in the world.
The Pukalani, Hawaii native has fought all four of her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts under the Bellator banner and finished each opponent impressively. Whether by knockout or submission, “Lady Samurai” is rising through the Bellator ranks and expects to see top 10 match ups headed her way sooner rather than later.
“I’m confident with my preparation and we’ve been preparing for this,” Inaba told MMA Mania. “This is how it goes for my path to where I want to be, which is fighting for the belt one day. Me and my team, we know that’s gonna come and we’re preparing ourselves slowly. But Bellator has been so good to me so far. I know they’re setting me up for success as well, giving me all these opportunities. All I can do is keep getting these wins and I think that that’s gonna come very soon.”
Inaba’s most recent appearance came in April 2022 when she fought in a home game against Whittany Pyles. The 30-year-old mother scored a violent and fast first round knockout in front of her Hawaii faithful in just 82 seconds, adding to her great momentum.
Yet to fight outside of the United States, Inaba has dreams of eventually competing in Japan, perhaps as part of a Bellator and RIZIN Fighting Federation crossover fight. First, however, she’ll need to once again get through a past amateur opponent, Nadine Mandiau, next weekend (Fri., Oct. 1, 2022) at Bellator 286 in Long Beach, California.
“She’s been fighting a lot, I followed her career since we fought and she’s had a lot more experience, she’s fought in a bunch of promotions,” Inaba said. “I give her props for taking on this and wanting to test herself. It’s been four years for both of us to improve our skills, improve our mindset, improve just being human beings. So I think Oct. 1, we get to see who has improved more.”