This Japanese pop star is scoring plenty of hits – after becoming the world’s most beautiful MMA fighter.
Nanaka Kawamura, 23, had been an ‘idol’ in a high-flying girl group performing at shows around Japan.
But the young model shocked her manager and band mates when she made the unlikely cross-over into the brutal martial arts ring.
Five-foot-two Nanaka has now been been nicknamed the ‘’strongest idol’’ having competed in five professional fights – while maintaining her stage career.
She said: ‘’I shocked my talent agency when I first talked to them about becoming an MMA fighter while still performing as a member of Kamen Joshi.
‘’It scared them, because it was clear that I was serious about becoming a real fighter.
’I would be fighting for real as a professional. But they supported me one hundred percent, so I was able to be successful in my first match last year, and I have my next professional MMA fight next month.’’
Prior her MMA career, Nanaka was doing idol shows with the “Kamen Joshi” (Masked Girls) idol group based in Akihabara, Japan.
Kamen Joshi girls wear masks to conceal their faces while singing and dancing on stage with elaborate props and costumes.
She is now part of Kamen Joshi’s “metal idol unit” where they perform to heavy metal rock music mixing mock chainsaws and head banging into the upbeat routine.
Having become a professional martial arts fighter, has a record of two wins, three losses, and no draws. Despite the unimpressive loss rate, she seems to have won the heart of the audiences as and is often being invited to guest in television shows.
She trains every morning with four sets of 200m runs, 100m uphill run carrying a 60kg person on her back – followed by more running and sparring.
Nanaka is set to have her next fight on June this year in the Deep Jewels arena, the MMA event for women in Japan.
She added: ‘’When I first saw the female fighters in the ring at Deep Jewels, they were powerful just like men and awe-inspiring. I said to myself, ‘Is there anyone who competes in the ring while still performing as a real idol?’ If I really want to give someone a dream and inspire someone… I have to stand out from the thousands and thousands of idols that exist in Japan and become the unique kind of idol I’ve always planned to be.’’