Abe Ani Combat Club
|Primary trainers||Hiroyuki Abe (head MMA and Jiu-jitsu coach) |
Antonio Carvalho (Jiu-jitsu coach)
Megumi Fujii (freestyle wrestling & Sambo coach)
|Current titleholders||Yasuko Tamada (Valkyrie flyweight champion; 45.4 kg – 48.5 kg)|
Ayaka Hamasaki (Jewels lightweight queen)
|Past titleholders||Hitomi Akano (Smackgirl middleweight champion; 58 kg)|
|Prominent fighters||Hitomi Akano |
|Training facilities||Tokyo, Japan|
The Abe Ani Combat Club is a mixed martial arts gym and training camp located in Japan. The gym is renowned mostly for its female stable of fighters who were regular competitors in the Smackgirl promotion. On its roster are prominent MMA stars such as Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii and Hitomi Akano. Owner and Head Coach Hiroyuki Abe teaches Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett is a wrestling coach for the team.
- Hiroyuki Abe
- Hitomi Akano
- Antonio Carvalho
- Megumi Fujii
- Shinichi Kojima
- Hitomi Sakamoto
- Yasuko Tamada
- Ayaka Hamasaki
The club was involve in a controversy during mixed martial arts event Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz, the inaugural fight card for San Jose-based fight promoter Strikeforce under their new Showtime broadcast deal on April 11, 2009. Hitomi Akano, former Smackgirl 125-pound fighter, was to meet Chute Boxe fighter Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in the 145 pound weight division. During the initial weigh-ins Santos was unable to meet the cutoff, weighing in at 152 pounds. Cyborg reportedly weighed more according to some claims by AACC staff and trainers. Not wanting to risk her health and future against a significantly larger fighter, Akano initially refused to go through with the fight and the California State Athletic Commission wouldn't sanction the fight, giving the Brazilian until 8PM to reach 149 pounds. After further negotiation and reported concessions from Strikeforce owner and president Scott Coker (which are rumored encompass an increased presence of fight team members on the promotion's cards), she finally agreed to the match at a catchweight of 150 pound, the lightest weight Santos ultimately made. Giving up close to 15 pounds to a vastly larger fighter, Akano lost the fight via TKO but gained the respect of Showtime commentators for taking the fight despite the disparity.
Team members, trainers, and administration rallied around her following the event. Fellow fighter, and one-time trainer, Megumi Fujii blasted Santos as well as the Chute Boxe Academy calling them "shameful" and accused Cyborg of cheating. Team wrestling coach Josh Barnett relayed similar sentiments on his MySpace blog, and manager Shu Hirata also displayed his disgust of the situation in his Sherdog Radio interview with Jordan Breen. All three, however, praised Coker for his professionalism during the negotiations.
- Loiseleur, Tony (August 19, 2009). "Abe Ani's Army". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- "Strikeforce Suffers Big Loss, Cris Cyborg vs. Hitomi Akano Is Off". Fanhouse. 2009-04-11. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- "Update: Akano-Cyborg Back On". Sherdog. 2009-04-11. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- "Megumi Fujii Blasts Cristiane "Cyborg" and Chute Boxe". Bloody Elbow. 2009. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- "Jordan Breen Show: Soares and Hirata". Sherdog Radio (audio). 2009-04-23. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30.