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Pictured: Amber Brown

FIT NHB’s Amber Brown travels for the second time to Japan, fights Ishikawa at Pancrase 250

Amber “The Bully” Brown (2-1) is quickly becoming a well noticed woman mixed martial artist. Not even a full year ago, the FIT NHB trained Brown made her professional debut for the King of the Cage promotion in Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. Now Brown will be making her second trip overseas to fight for a storied promotion that is immensely well known on that side of the world.

On July 28th, Pancrase 250 will be in Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan for a show labeled the “2013 Neo-Blood Tournament Finals”. Brown will be taking on Kikuyo Ishikawa (9-3) of Okinawa’s Reversal Gym Yokohama Ground Slam fight team in a 105-pound Atomweight bout. It is traditionally uncommon for regional fighters to venture so far, so early on in their careers but impressively this will be the second trip to Japan for Brown.

In fact it was just two short months ago when Brown would step inside the ring for Pancrase 247 fighting Japan native Emi Fujino as a late replacement. While she found success on the feet, the former JEWELS and Pancrase title contender Fujino was just too much on the ground. Brown also gave up more then 15-fights in experience to Fujino and would lose the bout late the second round.

She will not settle for an easier match up despite suffering her first professional loss as Ishikawa comes in on a three fight win streak and nine more fights under her belt.

FIT NHB's Amber BrownHowever, she will be better prepared for the trip, Brown stated “Well a few things I will be prepared for are not eating the food on the plane! We were heavier when we got there, so I will make sure to have my own food to eat, and also I will be prepared for the way the crowd and the fans react, because in Japan they are so quiet when you are walking out and during the fight, unlike here, the fans are really loud and excited, that threw me off a bit, but it will not matter this time!”

There is a lot on the line for Brown as she looks to prevent going to an even .500 with two wins and two losses. The bout represents redemption as well, Brown now has the opportunity to show improved grappling and some more of that top notch striking pedigree that we expect FIT NHB fighters to possess. Brown brings with her the FIT NHB pedigree that includes top level training partners Brenda Gonzales, Nikki Lowe, Frank Baca, Tim Sosa and Donald Sanchez.

With that sort of talent in training camp, Brown speaks highly of the preparations leading up to her bout, “My training camp is going great! Weight is coming along great. I feel awesome! My endurance, cardio, strength, conditioning. Everything, I feel amazing. My main training partner Brenda Gonzales is out with an injury now, so I train with all the guys at FIT. Every one of the guys helps me out. We train all aspects of MMA at FIT so I have been training everything. I will be ready for whatever she (Ishikawa) has to bring.”

While the trip across the world is drastic, the most significant difference may be the fact that Pancrase MMA fights are held in boxing rings compared to the traditional cage used in all of our regions MMA events. The Japanese culture is vastly different then the North American culture and the ring is a main example of that. Most popularly, the ring was a defining part of the legendary Pride promotion that was eventually purchased and closed by the UFC.

The ring however, is not something Brown sees as an obstacle in this fight despite certain things needing to be adjusted in preparation. “Fighting in a ring does not bother me at all, although it is different, I feel totally comfortable in there, since I used to box. I have spent a lot of time in the ring. But now I just make sure all my training and sparring are done in the ring.”

FIT NHB's Amber BrownWhile some people debate whether rings favor strikers and cages favor wrestlers, Brown’s concern has little to do with footwork, spacing or any MMA aspect. “The only thing I would say is the possibility of falling through the ropes, but that’s not gonna happen!”

More prepared and more experienced, Brown will represent the first American that Ishikawa has ever faced. The style of MMA is very different in the women ranks between countries in that the Japanese MMA scene in grappling heavy and the women of our region have much more willingness to engage in stand up battles. That aspect alone makes the bout intriguing from a fan perspective.

While Brown is much more talented in her stand up game at this early stage in her career, her grappling should be much more polished heading into this fight. While she has shown her ability to hit a quick takedown and work effective grappling from her back and top position, Brown knows that the grappling chops of the Japanese fighters are vastly different then the foes she has faced here in the States.

Brown’s final thought in speaking with SWFight.com, “I felt good in the fight against Fujino, I think I put up a tough fight, I feel that I should have just reacted quicker, recovered faster, small things like that. My grappling skills will definitely be more polished this time around!”

Stay tuned to SWFight.com for fight updates on Brown on July 28th for Pancrase 250.

About Phillip Lujan

Phillip Lujan is one of the lead contributors and a featured writer for SWFight.com. Specializing in MMA breakdowns and analysis, Phillip is considered the MMA aficionado on staff. With nearly ten years of experience in combat sports, gazing through the eyes perceptively as a fan and a cornerman and from fight manager to analyst. He can be reached on twitter at @KingStark24 or through email at marcello.lujan@gmail.com.