Rena Kubota (Photo Credit: RIZIN)

RIZIN star Rena Kubota soccer kicks her way to a comeback at Shoot Boxing Girls S Cup

Tokyo, Japan – It was no walk in the park for Japanese striking and MMA star Rena Kubota when she stepped in to face Brazilian scrapper Elaine Leal in an MMA fight at Friday’s Shoot Boxing Girl S-Cup, but in the end Rena’s plentiful fans ended up getting the show they hoped for.  The 2017 RIZIN Grand Prix finalist Kubota (7-1, #8 World atomweight) is a dynamo on the feet, skills that she honed as a longtime top star of Japan’s no-ground-fighting Shoot Boxing organization. But she found herself in an unexpected grappling war with “Pantera” Leal (5-6), who closed distance and forced Kubota to show off her submission defense skills during the first two rounds of the fight.

Rena’s takedown abilities and sub defense are what failed in her first pro MMA loss, a submission defeat in the recent RIZIN Grand Prix finals versus noted wrestler Kanna Asakura (12-2, #5 World atomweight). This time, Kubota managed to keep her arm and neck just out of danger against the persistent Brazilian. If the fight were scored round-by-round, western style, then Rena would have found herself needing to finish in the final frame. But this three rounder was contested under Pride/RIZIN full fight scoring rules, which gave Kubota the opening to legitimately snatch back the victory with seriously violent offense in round 3. Check out her soccer kicks to the fallen Leal:

That massive final round was just what Rena Kubota needed to take home the judges’ decision and rebound from her first pro loss to Kanna Asakura last time out. For her sake, hopefully Rena learned a thing or two from this bout, as she’ll face another serious grappling challenge later this month when she rematches with the 20 year old Asakura. RIZIN Grand Prix champ Kanna has strung together seven straight dominant wins and has the dedicated wrestling skills & gameplan to give Kubota fits. Then again, Rena is about as hard-hitting an atomweight as you’ll find and she’ll have the benefit of fighting Asakura on full rest this time, rather than at the end of a tournament. Could that help Kubota even the score with her rival when they rematch at RIZIN 11 on July 29th?


King Reina wins in the Shoot Boxing ring

Beyond the Kubota versus Leal MMA contest, the remainder of this card featured classic Shoot Boxing rules matches, including an appearance from another RIZIN star, King Reina Miura. The diminutive openweight phenom entertained the crowd with her typical schtick before brawling to a decision win – standard operating procedure for King Reina, as she’s taken and given plenty of damage in her recent MMA fights as well.


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