Ayaka Hamasaki: Crafting a division’s greatest untold legacy

Discussion in 'Cageside - MMA Discussion' started by Drake, May 28, 2019.

  1. Drake

    Drake Cunning Linguist

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    [​IMG]

    ‘The greatest of all time’ is a label reserved strictly for only one specific component. Of course, when breaking down the category overall that the subject pertains to, there can be multiple different variants that make up the classification of a G.O.A.T.

    In the general sports world, this often can come in the forms of a team’s best player historically. However, in a singular athletic endeavor like a combat sport such as mixed martial arts, the closest comparison to a team’s G.O.A.T. would be that of a weight division’s.

    Looking through the histories of every class in MMA, each has their own fighter that stands out over the others as the one that most can agree upon as the best to ever do it. When it comes to the one that is least appreciated, that is undeniably Japan’s Ayaka Hamasaki.

    As a member of the 105-pound atomweight division, it’s not much of a surprise that Hamasaki’s story hasn’t been properly spread as the entirety of the division’s hasn’t been either. And the two go hand in hand.

    17-2 in her professional career, Hamasaki’s lone losses have come at 115-pounds to the likes of a perennial top contender at strawweight in Claudia Gadelha with the other to the former Invicta FC strawweight champion, Livia Renata Souza who now resides in the UFC as well.

    The 37-year old’s journey has broken barriers and paved the way for the next generation of atomweights as well as fighters from her country. After obtaining the inaugural RIZIN title this past New Year’s Eve, Hamasaki firmly established herself as her division’s all-time best. Every organization she has fought in, she’s wound up hoisting its title high.

    Entering into the sport 10 years ago, the Yamaguchi-Prefecture native would start building her career at home in Japan as she went 7-0 before deciding to test herself over in the West.

    Her North American debut took place for Invicta FC in what was only their second event and Hamasaki would go on to submit the always game Lacey Schuckman with a third-round armbar. Thus showing a whole new audience what was in store for the future.

    Continued (exclusive interview): Ayaka Hamasaki: Crafting a division's greatest untold legacy
     
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  2. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    Mega Megu is still 105 GOAT. She just never got to fight at that weight.
     
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  3. Drake

    Drake Cunning Linguist

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    Then she isn't the GOAT at that weight...? lol
     
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  4. Nemo?

    Nemo? Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    Mega Megu or karate hottie IMO.
     
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  5. Drake

    Drake Cunning Linguist

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    Waterson went 3-1 at AW. She was an important piece in the division's history but definitely not even close to the GOAT.
     
  6. Nemo?

    Nemo? Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    IF she stuck around it would be different. The money weight was 115 for her so she sacrificed size to make more money.

    plus dat booty. porra. GOAT

    BUT I am sure Ms Hamasaki is a monster.
     
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  7. Drake

    Drake Cunning Linguist

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    It would be interesting if she would have stayed, that's for sure. No knowing if she would have gone down as the best though. Especially considering she went out with a loss. Then she's arguably been her most impressive on this her recent win streak. But obviously, had potential back then too. Would be great if the UFC committed to 105. She actually says she still has interest in fighting there again.

    But booty GOATs? Now we're taking things down a whole other path, hahaha. :cheers:
     
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  8. Severianb

    Severianb Well-Known Member

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    This is a common myth. Almost all of Michelle's fights before 2015 were at 105. Take a look at Tapology and her historical rankings on Fight Matrix. Pretty much all at 105.

    I agree, she never fought with the great Japanese 105ers so she isn't the GOAT 105er. Now I'm back to wishing the UFC opened 105 years ago.
     
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