PHOENIX – The moment Sumiko Inaba secured a submission win Saturday at Bellator 268, she got up off the mat and yelled at the top of her lungs while pounding her chest. She was elated with her performance.
That energy continued when Inaba took her seat for her post-fight news conference after a second-round arm-triangle submission of Randi Field in their flyweight bout on the prelims.
“Oh my gosh, so much fun with the crowd,” Inaba said backstage at Footprint Center. “You forget the energy that’s in there, but oh man, it comes back fast. That was great.”
Inaba, 30, might not appear menacing at first glance, but as she showed against Field, she lives up to her “Lady Samurai” nickname when she’s in the cage.
“I don’t know. Once that referee (says) ‘are you ready,’ I’m like, ‘Yup, I’m ready,’ and it flips right there,” Inaba said. “That’s when I know ‘Lady Samurai’ comes out. I’m Sumiko now, and ‘Lady Samurai’ is in the cage for sure.”
The way the fight played out Saturday surprised Inaba a little, but she’s not complaining.
“I was ready for her standup. I know she was feisty and tough, which she was, man. She came for a fight,” Inaba said. “But we went to the ground. I was not expecting her to go for my legs. But that’s fine. It was a cool scramble there, got to the head-in-arm (triangle choke). It was exciting to get a submission win.”
Inaba, a native of Hawaii, is unbeaten in her three professional fights with Bellator all by way of stoppage – two TKOs and a submission.