Rizin 11 star Kyoji Horiguchi (via Sherdog)

RIZIN 10: Kyoji Horiguchi Wrecks Ian McCall in 9 seconds, TENSHIN Rolling Thunders a Dude, Cruickshank Via KTFO

Fukuoka, Japan – Despite a terrible track record of bad luck with cancelled bouts and fight enclosure mishaps, perpetually snakebitten flyweight contender Ian McCall actually made it to the RIZIN 10 ring for his bout with elite flyweight-turned-RIZIN bantamweight Grand Prix champ Kyoji Horiguchi.   That was as good as it got for the moustachioed “Uncle Creepy”, who ran facefirst into a Horiguchi lead left hook before eating a finishing ground strike just 9 seconds into the RIZIN 10 main event!  At first it looked like McCall (13-7-1, #283 World BW) may have been a victim of an early intervention, but that notion was quickly dispelled when he responded to the stoppage by panic-wrestling official Jason Herzog.  You’ve got to feel for McCall, but this was jaw-dropping stuff from Horiguchi (24-2, #10 World BW) that solidified his position as RIZIN’s #1 MMA star in front of a huge domestic audience on Fuji TV.  Sad that we’re not getting a Horiguchi/Mighty Mouse rematch anytime soon, because this leveled-up version of “The Gooch” is one of few 125ers on earth who could stand a legitimate chance against 2018 DJ.


Male world rankings via Fightmatrix, female world rankings and regional rankings via Tapology.  All rankings are pre-event, records are updated post-fight.


RIZIN 10 TENSHIN Kickboxing Special:

JMMA Intermission #2 tested the patience of western hemisphere watchers while RIZIN waited for the top of the hour to go live on Fuji TV – as big a deal as it gets in Japanese sports broadcasting.   The wait was probably worth it for fans of 19 year old kickboxing ace Tenshin Nasukawa, though MMA fighter opponent Yusaku Nakamura was so utterly outclassed that he scored not one, not two,  not three, but FOUR takedowns in the opening two minutes.

Oh yeah, Tenshin is freakin’ insane.  And yes, he’s an MMA fighter too with a record of 4-0 in RIZIN.  Now that he’s earned his high school diploma let’s get him some competition, eh?



RIZIN 10 MMA Co-Main Event @ W105:

W: Kanna Asakura (12-2, 20 y/o NYE 2018 RIZIN Grand Prix winner, #6 World)
Unanimous Decision
L: Maria Karagiannis (3-4, #48 World)

The reigning champion from last year’s RIZIN atomweight Grand Prix, Kanna Asakura took out popular shootboxing champ Rena Kubota in a wild one-round finals battle to claim the crown. This time out Asakura faced a much tamer foe in the game, but vas Andrey Kovalev Ante Delija Ayaka Hamasaki Daron Cruickshank Ian McCall Kanako Murata Kanna Asakura Kyoji Horiguch Lanchana Green live results MMA Results Ricardo Prasel Rizin RIZtly overmatched, Maria Karagiannis. Asakura is as good a wrestler as any in the atomweight ranks and she had little trouble lifting and planting the Canadian at will. On the mat, Kanna mostly controlled position in round 1 but added in a couple of nice hammerfists and grounded knees. Asakura tossed out pretense of interest in the striking game in round 2, working for a takedown and advancing to mount with little trouble. Karagiannis looked dead to rights in an armbar late in the second stanza, but she bravely battled onward without tapping. Tough, sure, but Karagiannis simply had no answers for Kanna Asakura’s pure grappling attack beyond gritty survival. With a few moments left in the contest Asakura gave us a rare glimpse of her hands, and they looked pretty darn solid as they popped the Canadian in the mush. After the obvious unanimous decision verdict was read, Asakura and Kubota faced off in the ring and did a little bit of pro wrestling mic work to set up a rematch at RIZIN’s next event on July 29th.  Plus, don’t forget that former Invicta champ and de factor world #1 atomweight Ayaka Hamasaki is also waiting in the wings.


RIZIN 10 Fight 7 @ 155:

W: Yusuke Yachi (20-6, #64 World)
Split Decision
L: Diego Nunes (22-8, 3-3 UFC, #190 World)

Perhaps the hottest lightweight in Japanese MMA, Team Krazy Bee’s Yusuke Yachi entered this bout with former UFC featherweight contender Diego “The Gun” Nunes on the strength of four finish in four RIZIN performances. Early on both men appeared intent to smash clear through his opponent’s thorax with thudding body kicks. Much of the first round took place inside the pocket, where Yachi showed off his preternatural ability to avoid damage and find spots to land punches. Late in round 2 Yachi barely grazed Nunes with a high kick that could’ve ended things if the Brazilian didn’t deflect it at the last moment. After a pretty rough first round, Nunes bit down on his mouthguard and forced the favorite into a straight-up Holloway-style slobberknocker. But Yachi dealt with the pressure well and landed the best single strike of the wild exchange via standing knee to the face.

With Plans A and B exhausted, Nunes craftily found a chance to work for a kneebar but couldn’t get the job done. “The Gun” went back to the brawling well in the last minute of round 2 but ate another wicked knee, a crushing punch, and eventually a near-KO worthy upkick for his troubles. Round 3 saw Yachi briefly take the grappling initiative but the pair returned to striking range before long. With his foe backed into the corner, Nunes landed a perfect flying knee that had Yachi desperately retreating and playing with his hair! With a half round left to work, Nunes scored the takedown and landed some more GNP before eating another solid upkick. Yachi was on baby giraffe legs as they threw down in the last 75 seconds but showed off the tougness that has allowed him to ascend deep into the top 100 of the toughest division in MMA. Luckily for the Takenori Gomi protege, two of the three judges favored his early work before Nunes made it gritty and close early – tally win number five in five RIZIN appearances for Yusuke Yachi, this time via split decision. That seems like the right winner from my comfy armchair – excellent fight from both warriors.


RIZIN 10 Fight 6 @155:

W: Daron Cruickshank (20-10, 6-6 UFC, #181 World)
KTFO-Left Headkick, 3:50 of Round 1
L: Koshi Matsumoto (19-8-2, #153 World)

These two technical strikers were extremely patient as they looked for spots to enact violence during the first half of round 1. Fu Manchu moustache aficionado Daron Cruickshank was the first man to find the opening he wanted with a smooth right head kick. Cruickshank built momentum with a few solid punches before going nuclear with a left head kick just as Koshi Matsumoto was lazily drifting out of the pocket! One emphatic middle finger later and Daron Cruickshank was named the winner via spectacular knockout! That’s 3 wins in 5 RIZIN bouts for Cruickshank, who hasn’t been the distance in a fight since he went the distance with Anthoyn Njokuani a lifetime ago back in 2014.

RIZIN 10 Fight 5 @ 130:

W: Kai Asakura (10-1, #358 World)
Split Decision
L: Manel Kape (9-3, #151 World)

2017 RIZIN New Year’s Eve Grand Prix semifinalist Manel Kape opened eyes with his talent during a sharp-rope-assisted opening round win over Ian McCall and a spirited loss to Kyoji Horiguchi in the semis. And once he has your attention, the Angolan superathlete is probably going to keep it with his madman persona. Kape put Kai Asakura on notice early in round one with a staggering flurry of hooks that left him bloodied, but Asakura kept on firing back and landed counters while Kape attacked aggressively. Later in the first Asakura got his receipt with a perfect right hook and a followup soccer kick to his briefly-grounded foe. After an intense round 1 wrapped up, Kape strode forward into Asakura’s blew him a kiss from about a foot away.

Kape strode out hands down to start the second but got cracked with a couple of shots from the Japanese talent. 75 seconds in Kape leaned against the ropes and wiggled his rump at Asakura as he stood in the center of the cage – then followed up with a huge punch that caught Asakura flush when the latter man tried a flying knee! Asakura responded with a smooth takedown but didn’t do much until the end of the round, when he turned up the heat with a soccer kick and grounded knee! Did I mention that this fight is pretty awesome?

Both men looked pretty fresh but Asakura was the bloodier party and probably down on the scorecards heading into the final five minute frame. Things were a bit slower until Asakura caught a kick and ripped a slapping right hand to Kape’s jaw. The more technical pace continued through the middle portion of round 3 as both men looked to find an opening for a bomb on the feet. Both guys looked like they thought they were winning, based on the fact that neither showed urgency in the final minutes. With 36 seconds left, Asakura landed a vicious eye poke that stopped action for a couple of minutes. Neither man landed big when the final few seconds played out.

Who won this crazy close fight? Nobody but the judges knew, and they favored Kai Asakura by split decision. You probably won’t be surprised to find that Kape thought it was “fucking bullshit, man.” Either way, this was a really fun performance from both of this terrific young flyweight talents – I can’t wait to see both men progress through the world ranks in the upcoming decade.


RIZIN 10 Fight 4 @ W105:

W:  Ayaka Hamasaki (15-2, Invicta champ, #1 World)
Unanimous Decision
L: Alyssa Garcia (3-5, #22 World)

The queen of the atomweight division finally received the Horoguchi treatment as Ayaka Hamasaki made her debut in the RIZIN 10 ring. Hamasaki established herself as the division’s best during her reign as Invicta 105 pound champ, and she showed off her grappling skills in the first three minutes of this contest versus American wrestler Alyssa Garcia. Hamasaki did a nice job of controlling position but looked like she may have overtaxed herself fruitlessly trying to secure back position. Garcia took advantage with some aggressive strikes as Hamasaki slowed a bit in the final moments of round 1. Hamasaki took things right back down in round 2 and looked like may be working toward a finish when she battered “Tiny Tim” with strikes from the crucifix position. But Garcia did a good job of pushing on the ropes with her feet to backflip out of danger. The Japanese star went back to the wrestling game but found herself reversed to bottom for the last minute of round 2.

Garcia rolled through with an armbar try as the action heated up in round 3, perhaps sensing that she needed to seek a finish or do a lot of damage to overcome Hamasaki’s early lead. That didn’t work, but after Hamasaki escaped Garcia landed a slam that led her to a semi-back take. The American made a blunder as she tried to sink in a choke without real back control, which led to Hamasaki pounding away from back mount with 80 seconds left in the fight! The favorite couldn’t find the finish as she tried for an armbar, as Garcia ended the fight defending by kicking Hamasaki in the head. This one started a bit slow but turned into a terrific fight by the end. Wonderful performance from Alyssa Garcia against the best fighter in her weight division, but you’d need to give her a ton of underdog bonus points to sway the victory in her direction. Meanwhile, Ayaka Hamasaki overcame her early cardio dump – let’s call it RIZIN jitters – to keep matters comfortably in her favor en route to a solid unanimous decision victory.


RIZIN 10 Fight 3 @ 265:

W: Ante Delija (15-3, #56 World 3 years inactive)
Unanimous Decision
L: Ricardo Prasel (9-1, ex-pro football goalie, #86 World, MMAWizzard top prospect)

Prospect watchers were excited to see whether wide-open Brazilian heavyweight athlete Ricardo Prasel could translate his loopy submission attacks to world class level. Unfortunately, the 6’8″ Prasel’s varied joint lock game simply didn’t play against a top-control specialist like former M-1 title challenger Ante Delija. Cro Cop protege Delija, who was last seen losing to Marcin Tybura via in-fight leg injury three years ago, looked like the same ground-and-pound specialist in this one as he smashed Prasel from guard. The German/Brazilian Prasel was happy to lay flat on his back for basically the whole fight, even after it became evident that his flashy submission skills were no match for the 6’5″ Delija’s grappling prowess. Not much to report on this one, except that Prasel’s chin is pretty darn good even if his skills need a lot of work. It wasn’t exciting, but it was massively one sided – a good day of work for the 27 year old Croatian in his RIZIN debut.


RIZIN 10 Fight 2 @ 265:

W: Jair Rozenstruik (5-0, #249 World)
Split Decision
L: Andrey Kovalev (9-1, #84 World)

Before this one started, Rozenstruik was penalized 10% of his purse for excessive pre-fight greasing while Frank Trigg pointed out that RIZIN’s yellow card system penalizes the fighters and puts money back in the promotion’s pocket. The unknown Dutchman seemed undeterred as he landed several hard punches that got the more highly-regarded Kovalev’s attention. Neither prospect showed the kind of head movement that keeps your head on the shoulders in round 1, though both have a solid chin early in their career. Both men became more technical with jabs as round 1 continued. Jairzinho landed the first solid straight punches of the second stanza about a minute in. Kovalev finally opted to shoot 90 seconds into round 2 and took his man down into side control with ease, but he didn’t do a lot beyond holding top position for the rest of the frame.

Business really picked up for Rozenstruik at the start of the final frame of this 3 x 5 minutes heavyweight battle. The big man forced the tiring and increasingly desperate Kovalev to the canvas about a minute in and proceeded to nail the fallen Ukrainian with a nice soccer kick and a grounded knee to the face. Kovalev had never been in this much trouble before, so we learned that he’s a tough dude, but the unknown Jairzinho Rozenstruik was the better man in this bout and he walked away with an impressive split decision victory in his first career bout versus a legit opponent.


RIZIN 10 Fight 1 @ W119:

W: Kanako Murata (7-1, #64 World at W125, Japanese ammy wrestling star)
Submission-Anaconda Choke – 4:53 of Round 1
L: Lanchana Green (1-2-1, TUF 23 semifinalist, took fight on <1 week notice)

Just before these two ladies tussled annnouncer Frank Trigg set the over/under at 30 seconds re: how long it would take for Kanako Murata to shoot in for a takedown. Right at the 30 seconds mark, Murata shot in as predicted and ate a single nasty elbow from Lanchana Green that caused her left eye to close completely. Murata never gave the ref a reason to care, as she spent the entire round in top control hunting submissions. Green survived the Japanese wrestling star’s extended arm triangle effort but was forced to tap to an anaconda choke with 7 seconds left in the first! This was pretty rough for Green, who took the fight on just a few days’ notice after #1 Chinese WMMA fighter Weili Zhang pulled out – if Lanchana could have just held on for 7 seconds more, she probably would have taken it by TKO between rounds due to Murata’s eye. But Murata squeezed the submission out just in the nick of time to reassert her position as one of RIZIN’s top WMMA attractions.


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