Juju Auclair

Juju Auclair MMA Debut: Defeats Undefeated Opponent At ‘Impact Fight League 66”

Juju Auclair had a phenomenal debut in her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut last Saturday. She participated in Impact Fight League 66: Fight Night At The Joe and beat her undefeated opponent prior to their match-up.

According to the updated statistics provided by Tapology, Shinju Nozawa-Auclair — better known by her personal nickname and possibly her MMA nickname “Juju” — fought in the main event at IFL 66 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Juju Auclair fought Larkyn Dasch, who at the time was undefeated with five wins, in the flyweight division (125 pounds) on the main card. Auclair won the fight via unanimous decision after three rounds thus marking her debut with a win and giving Dasch her first official loss on her fight record.

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Juju Auclair’s debut in MMA was actually a very big deal not just in Detroit, but in Japan too. According to a written article by the Detroit Free Press, an affiliate of USA Today, it reports that Auclair, who was from New York City and is of half-Japanese and half-French-Canadian heritage, is the daughter of Naoko Nozawa. Nozawa is a Japanese actress and director but she is best known in Japan for her stand-up comedy. She has starred in films such as Children on the Island, Tokyo Zance, and Tokyo Escalator.

Note to self: don't talk and eat at the same time on camera. I choked on a piece of broccoli while filming an interview and coughed uncontrollably in front of the crew so now I have to off myself. Bye #embarassed ????

A photo posted by juju (@shinju_auclair) on

In her spare time, Naoko Nozawa writes a blog in which one of the recurring topics are the ups and downs of her daughter Juju Auclair learning MMA in Michigan. A Japanese television company caught wind of this and asked if they could put a program together a week leading up to her debut fight. Auclair was reluctant, but eventually agreed.

“It’s crazy because, my whole life, I’ve tried to shy away from being in my mom’s shadow, really. I didn’t want that for myself.”

The Japanese television crew not only interviewed Juju Auclair about her trials and tribulations to become a professional MMA fighter, but they recorded her training regime. She was taken under the tutelage of James Gray who specializes in jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling, and MMA. He runs the Scorpion Fighting System in Brighton for the past six years in which he teaches to both professionals and amateurs.


A photo posted by juju (@shinju_auclair) on

After some personal ups and downs, Juju Auclair and James Gray clicked when it came to training. Gray would be relentless having Auclair train three times a week. Auclair would equally be relentless too as she kept coming back for more, showing Gray she would be a promising fighter.

“She has taken her training seriously, and her progress has shown that. She is tremendously far from where most people are at after training in the academy for only nine months.

She’s a serious athlete. With a ballet background, most people don’t relate it to athleticism, but it gives her an advantage with throwing head kicks at six feet in the air without losing power.

She’s explosive, and her athleticism is her biggest weapon. She punches hard. If she’s on the ground, she’s aggressive and looking to submit the girl. If it’s on the feet, she’s going to throw heavy and look for a knockout. Especially for as new as she is, she’s very well-rounded.”

The amount of praise James Gray has given Juju Auclair was not pre-fight fluff or hype. Everything Gray said Auclair is was shown in her debut fight against Larkyn Dasch. If she continues to make an impact like she did in her debut, Auclair may find herself receiving the call from a bigger promotion. UFC has been wanting to utilize more Asian ethnic fighters so there is a possibility right there.

[Featured Image by Juju Auclair/Facebook]