Kyoji vs Tenshin crowned RIZIN 13

RIZIN 13 was Spectacular: Notes & Clips on the elite matchups, killer finishes, and all the rest

Saitama, Japan – Elite matchups? Check. Killer finishes? Check. A Bob Sapp freakshow? Yeah, RIZIN 13 had that too. Japan’s top promotion brought everything to the table, including a cross-sports kickboxing superfight between Tenshin Nasukawa & Kyoji Horiguchi that absolutely delivered the goods. Read on for notes & highlight clips on everything RIZIN 13, from the elite-level action at 125, 115, and 105 to the highlight reel finishes authored by Daron Cruickshank and Manel Kape!  And don’t forget to check out the replay on, you won’t regret it.


RIZIN 13: The Elite Matchups


Tenshin vs Kyoji was Spectacular

On paper this was a crazy mismatch between a debuting kickboxer (if amazing MMArtist) and an already-legendary 20 year old sporting a 31-0 kickboxing record. In practice this one exceeded all expectations for spectacle, with Kyoji Horiguchi keeping it close for two rounds as he landed plenty of shots against wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa. After straying low twice midway through round 2, Tenshin seemed to find another gear with about 20 seconds left in the frame as he flew across the ring with impossibly high-octane attacks. The JKick ace finished strong in round 3, showing off his class with increasingly fast and flashy kicks as the MMA star struggled to hold on until the final bell. Nasukawa’s late performance ensured that he’d be crowned winner, but Horiguchi’s impressive start and gutsy finish was more than enough for Kyoji to earn a genuine moral victory. Excellent, world-class fight, and hopefully a precursor to a future Kyoji vs. Tenshin 2 MMA matchup!


Hamasaki subs Kurobe

While Tenshin vs Kyoji proved to be a lot more competitive than some expected, this anticipated matchup of world top 10 atomweights Ayaka Hamasaki and Mina Kurobe quickly turned to a blowout. The former Invicta champ Hamasaki displayed superior technique and a massive edge in the strength department. Kurobe simply didn’t have any chance on the ground as Hamasaki dominated position before cranking out a kimura sub late in round 1:


Ochi brutalizes Sunabe

In another close contest on paper that turned into a surprise mismatch, Tapology #1 male strawweight Mitsuhisa Sunabe had little to offer #2 ranked Haruo Ochi. The DEEP strawweight champ Ochi showed off advantages everywhere as he grounded and bludgeoned Sunabe for the better part of rounds 1 and 2. A huge right hook from Ochi sent Sunabe to the canvas in round 3, where Ochi proceeded to finish him off with brutal soccer kicks before the ref jumped in for the thankfully on-time stoppage. Nasty stuff from Haruo Ochi, who made an emphatic argument for being considered the top 115 pounder on the planet.



RIZIN 13: The Finishes


Cruickshank murders Brandao

Now sporting a 5-2 record in RIZIN, Daron Cruickshank has been even more potent inside the ring than he was in his solid 12 fight Octagon run. Cruickshank spent round 1 authoring a striking clinic, as he peppered bloodthirsty finisher Diego Brandao with side kicks, spin kicks, and snappy punches from all angles. After getting shut out in round 1, Brandao rushed forward in the second and ate a brutal flying knee from Cruickshank that sent the TUF 14 winner careening to the canvas.  RIZIN 13 Knockout of the Night, for sure!


Kape chokes Nakamura

Manel Kape initially caught the attention of RIZIN fans thanks to his over-the-top antics during weigh-ins and inside the ring, but don’t sleep on the skills that the 24 year old Portuguese flyweight brings to the table. Kape came into his fifth RIZIN contest needing a win after back-to-back losses to Japanese flyweight elites Kyoji Horiguchi and Kai Asakura, and he kept himself relevant with an impressive performance against Yusaku Nakamura. After a competitive start, the Portuguese talent pulled away late and kept it out of the judges’ hands with a nasty RNC that left his foe out cold under the bottom rope. That’s exactly the kind of win that should keep the polarizing Kape in the big show.


Cro Cop slices up Roque

Roque Martinez had the opportunity of a lifetime as he took on Pride legend Mirko Cro Cop, and it looked like he had a pretty good chance of pulling the upset early in round 1. Martinez pressed forward and showed off an ability to bully the 44 year old into the ropes, while having his share of success when the two exchanged at distance. At range Cro Cop didn’t seem to have the same snap that we saw 2 years ago when he won the RIZIN Grand Prix – not too surprising for a guy who has admitted to suffering joint problems in recent years. But in close Mirko is still lethal, as he proved with a nasty elbow that popped a small hole in Roque’s forehead and precipitated the doctor’s stoppage. Great elbow, but it didn’t really look like a fight ender from my seat. Tough break for Martinez, as he was competitive in the biggest spot in his career after dominating his first two RIZIN matchups. Great outcome for RIZIN, in any case, as the win by finish keeps Cro Cop strong for a potential high-profile swan song later this year.



Jiri batters Heun

Homegrown RIZIN light heavyweight talent Jiri Prochazka added another name to his growing resume with a short-order demolition of PFL & WSOF alum Jake Heun. Heun, who recently vied for a 2018 PFL playoff spot, avoided damage from the herky-jerky Czech over the first few minutes. Unfortunately for the American, Jiri’s power was too much as he sent Heun reeling when the first big shot finally landed. Heun fell to the mat after trying to retaliate with an ill-fated spinning attack, and Prochazka pounced with nasty ground strikes. The hide-tough “Honey Bear” struggled back to his feet, and that’s where Prochazka administered the finishing touches on his 21st finish in 22 career wins. Could 25 year old Jiri Prochazka be the most underrated big man on the planet? I say yes.



RIZIN 13: The Decisions


Miyuu wrestles Andy

Hats off to Kid Yamamoto’s sister Miyuu Yamamoto, who put together one of her best performances to date in a very tough time for her & her family. Miyuu’s amateur wrestling pedigree shined through as she took home the win in clear fashion against American striker Andy Nguyen. Good enough for Yamamoto to even up her pro record at 3-3, and earn a measure of revenge for an armbar loss she suffered to Nguyen at RIZIN New Year’s Eve 2016.


Mikuru outclasses Dautbek

After pulling off a stunning high kick finish of Hatsu Hioki in his RIZIN debut, Mikuru Asakura authored a fine sophomore performance with this three-round thrashing of Kazakhstan’s Karshyga Dautbek. Dautbek brought a big cheering section with him to Saitama, but they didn’t have much to boast about as Asakura proved his dominance in all phases of the game. The 25 year old Aichi, Japan native nearly finished with a Wandy-style stomp to the face at the end of round 1 and a flurry of shots at the end of round 2, but had to settle for a lopsided decision victory. Either way, another exciting and impressive performance from Asakura as he continues to vault up the RIZIN 145 pound ladder.


Kai grounds Topnoi

Mikuru wasn’t the only Asakura brother to shine at RIZIN 13, as Kai Asakura downed Muay Thai star Topnoi over the course of three rounds. Nice use of the RIZIN ruleset from Asakura, who stayed perfect in three tries inside the promotion while sending Topnoi back to the drawing board (and jiu-jitsu mats).



RIZIN 13: The Freakshow


At first this one looked like just about every other fight in Bob Sapp’s 14 bout pro MMA skid. The erstwhile “Beast” turtled up as soon as debuting sumo Kintaro Osunaarashi flurry forward with wild punches, but luckily for Sapp his foe only had a 25 second gas tank and posed little threat after that initial burst. What ensued was a whole lot of ugly on par with Kimbo vs Dada 5000. But hey, Bob Sapp won an MMA fight in 2018! Something a little extra, to go along with all the great fights and finishe served up on the rest of this memorable RIZIN 13 card.



RIZIN 13 Results:

Kickboxing main event: Tenshin Nasukawa (kickboxing wunderkind)  UD3  Kyoji Horiguchi (RIZIN champ, #8 World MMA)

W105: Miyuu Yamamoto (3-3, all RIZIN, #36 World, Kid Yamamoto’s sis)  UD3  Andy Nguyen (6-7, 1-2 RIZIN, #37 World)

265: Mirko Cro Cop (37-11-2, RIZIN 2016 Grand Prix champ, UFC/Pride legend, #19 World)  TKO1-Cut  Roque Martinez (12-4-2, 2-1 RIZIN, #90 World)

205: Jiri Prochazka (22-3-1, 7-1 RIZIN, #21 World)  TKO1-Punches  Jake Heun (11-8, 0-1 RIZIN, 3-4 PFL/WSOF, #110 World)

145: Mikuru Asakura (8-1, 2-0 RIZIN, #421 World)  UD3  Karshyga Dautbek (6-2, 0-1 RIZIN, 1-0 ACB, #9 Kazakhstan, #543 World)

155: Daron Cruickshank (22-10, 5-2 RIZIN, 6-6 UFC, #68 World)  KO2-Flying Knee  Diego Brandao (23-13, 1-1 RIZIN, 6-4 UFC, #58 World)

265: Bob Sapp (12-20-1, 1-2 RIZIN, 2-1 Pride, snapped 14 loss streak)  UD3  Kintaro Osunaarashi (0-1, sumo champ)

M115: Haruo Ochi (18-7-2, DEEP Strawweight champ, #2 World)  TKO3-Right Hook+Soccer Kicks!  Mitsuhisa Sunabe (29-8-4, Strawweight King of Pancrase, #1 World)

125: Kai Asakura (11-1, 3-0 RIZIN, #170 World M135)  UD3  Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai (6-2, 1-1 RIZIN, #4 SE Asia)

W105: Ayaka Hamasaki (16-2, 2-0 RIZIN, 4-2 Invicta ex-champ, #7 World)  Sub1-Kimura  Mina Kurobe (12-4, 0-1 RIZIN, DEEP Jewels champ, #4 World) 

125: Manel Kape (12-3, 3-2 RIZIN, #178 World)  Sub3-RNC  Yusaku Nakamura (14-6-1, 0-1 RIZIN, #48 World)


Love World MMA? So do we! Covering RIZIN & every major pro fight on Planet Earth:

MMA Geek Guide 9/28 – 10/1/18: Results/Recaps/Clips of RIZIN 13, Bellator 206, LFA 51, every world ranked fight across the globe!

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