Photo Credit: RIZIN FF

Kanna Asakura Locked in the Final Spot for RIZIN’s Super Atomweight Grand Prix

A few weeks ago, RIZIN Fighting Federation announced the brackets of the Women’s Super Atomweight Grand Prix and there was just one slot still up for grabs. To determine the final participant, Kanna Asakura and Saori Ishioka faced off in the main event of DEEP JEWELS 17 on August 26th in Tokyo and Asakura came out on top via unanimous decision.

Both fighters entered the cage with victories at RIZIN in Yokohama last April, Ishioka submitted Bestare Kicaj and Asakura decisioned Aleksandra Tonsheva. It was a highly anticipated fight due to the stipulations which this bout entailed.

Throughout the fight, the 19-year-old Asakura controlled the much more experienced veteran on the ground. With powerful takedowns and quick submission attempts on top of the ground and pound, Ishioka tried everything but had no answers for the young phenom. In the end, Asakura showcased a much-improved skill set and explosiveness that has been absent in the past.

During the post-fight interview, the victor paid respect to her opponent and expressed what it means for her to be one of the fighters in the tournament.

“Ishioka was in this sport since the beginning, when nobody cared about women fighting,” Asakura stated with gratitude. “Since I’m just a newcomer, people may think that there are more fighters who belong in the tournament than me, but I promise you that I will proudly represent Ishioka and everybody who deserves the recognition, and win this tournament. Ishioka-san, thank you very much for fighting me.”


As a result of this impressive win, Asakura slides into the final spot to collide in the opening round with Polish knockout artist Sylwia Juskiewicz on October 15th at RIZIN in Fukuoka along with the other matchups in the Grand Prix.

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John Hyon Ko is an Asia-based combat sports journalist as well as the host and producer of Kumite Radio.