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 every opponent in impressive fashion. Whether by knockout or submission, “Lady Samurai” is climbing the Bellator ranks and expects to see the top 10 headed her way sooner rather than later.
“I’m confident in my preparation and we’re preparing for it,” Inaba told MMA Mania. “That’s how it goes for my path to where I want to be, who is fighting for the belt one day. Me and my team, we know it’s coming and we’re slowly preparing. But Bellator has been so good to me so far. I know they are 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 will happen very soon .
Inaba’s last appearance was in April 2022 when she fought in a home match against Whittany Pyles. The 30-year-old mother scored a hard and fast first-round knockout in front of her Hawaiian faithful in just 82 seconds, adding to her great momentum.
Still, to fight outside of the United States, Inaba dreams of eventually competing in Japan, perhaps as part of a Bellator and RIZIN Fighting Federation crossover bout. However, she will first have to face a former amateur opponent, Nadine Mandiau, again next weekend (Friday, October 1, 2022) at Bellator 286 in Long Beach, Calif.
“She fights a lot, I’ve been following her career since we fought and she has a lot more experience, she’s fought in a bunch of promotions,” Inaba said. “I give him props to take on that and want to test himself. It’s been four years for both of us to improve our skills, improve our mindset, simply improve being human beings. So I think on October 1 we will see who has improved the most.
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