Last week we went to Fukuoka, Japan to watch Rizin 7. As always Rizing puts on a great show and this event was just as great. Once that Rizin opening music hits you in the chest, you know you are in for a great event This time around was the Rizin FF women’s super atomweight grand prix opening. This is a tournament that will continue on through the end of the year show. The Fukuoka event was only the first leg of the tournament.
The fighter that came out on top of this leg of the tournament was definately Rena Kubota. He scored a decisive 1st Round victory over crowd favorite, Andy Nguyen via liver punch. It was not an easy fight at a few points early in the round Nguyen lookewd as if she was going to take home the gold that night. It all changed once Kubota backed Nguyen up over to the corner and peppered her with punches. The final nail in Nguyen’s coffin that night was a hard shot to the body that buckled her.
In another Rizin FF women’s super atomweight grand prix fight we saw Irene Rivera (7-4) take out Miyuu Yamamoto (1-3) with a belly down armbar in round 2. This lets Rivera advance to the second leg of the tournament. This also ends Yamamoto’s winning streak. She has to go back to the drawing board and look at armbar escapes. It’s the 3rd time she’s been caught with that technique.
Kanna Asakura (9-2) also advanced by getting a unanimous-decision win over Sylwia Juskiewicz (7-5), and Maria Oliveira (10-2) overcame a late rally from Josh Barnett’s student, Alyssa Garcia (3-4) to get a decision win.
The semi main event was also a spectacle to witness. It was a showdown between the 19 year old up and coming break out star, Tenshin Nasukawa (4-0) and hard hitting, tough as nails new comer, Yamoto Fujita (0-1).
Nasukawa dominated the fight and even managed to knock down Fujita in the firt round with a solid left hook. The fight went to the judges and they awarded an Unanimous decision win to Nasukawa putting him at 4 wins in his career. One other interesting aspect of this match up was that it was fought under MMA rules and it was the first time we had a chance to see Nasukawa’s ground game. By the looks of his performance he is just as good on the ground as he is standing. He is an all around good and well rounded fighter.
Rizin was not light on MMA Legends this time around either. One of the matches that we were all looking forward too was Frank Shamrock Vs. Kazushi Sakuraba. This was the match that MMA fans have been wanting for about 10 years. Originally the match was going to be Sakuraba against Dan Henderson. Unfortunately, Henderson suffered an injury during training and was forced to withdrawl from the fight.
Fortunately for all MMA fans Frank Shamrock stepped up to the plate and was already in fight shape. He took the match on short notice. The fight went back and forth between the two legends and ended in a draw. The crowd at the event were very happy with the match and gave the two men a nice round of applause to show their respect for these two legends.
These were not the only legends in attendance at this event. Long time competitor and legend in his own right, Jerome Le Banner was also on the card. Le Banner’s record is very long and he has fought for many promotions thoughout his career. He has over 100 fights in K-1 since making his debut in March of 1995. He currently has 6 MMA fights.
He came back to Tokyo to face rizing JMMA heavy weight star and Deep Heavy Weight Champion, Roque Martinez from Guam. Le Banner entered into the arena with all the fanfare that you would expect a legend to receive in Japan. He looked like he was still in very good fighting shape. However this did not help him in his fight against the new comer. After a few strike exchanges between the two Martinez sees Le Banner telegraph a front kick or a knee. This is all that he needed to see. He was able to shoot in and take Le Banner to the canvas. Once there, Martinez quickly passed Le Banner’s guard and got into a Kesa Garame (scarf hold) hold. from that position Martinez got under Le Banner’s bottom arm elbow and rolled back on to Le Banner’s body while lifting his head. This created a lot of pressure on the chest and Le Banner had to tap at 2 minutes and 9 seconds of round 1.
This move you may remember from when Josh Barnett defeated Dean Lister at Metamoris 4 back on August 9, 2014. Later when asked Martinez said that he had learned the technique from Barnett during a seminar a few years ago. Given the fact that Josh Barnett was there in attendance, this was a very special moment in JMMA history.
Over all this event was very successful and has set the building blocks in place for was we will see at the end of the year show. The next Rizin will be back in Tokyo at the Saitama Super Arena on Decemeber 29th, 2017. For the full results please see below.
Rena Kubota Beats Andy Nguyen via KO (R1, 3:23) (Body shot / Liver punch)
Tenshin Nasukawa Beats Yamato Fujita via unanimous decision
Kazushi Sakuraba VS Frank Shamrock ends in a draw – grappling
Akiyo Nishiura Beats Andy Souwer via unanimous decision
Reina Miura Beats Crystal Stokes via unanimous decision
Gabriel Oliveira Beats Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (R2, 1:00)
Shintaro Ishiwatari Beats Akhmed Musakaev via unanimous decision
Kevin Petshi Beats Je Soon Moon via split decision
Manel Kape Beats Erson Yamamoto via TKO (R1, 1:11) (Head Kick followed by straight right)
Roque Martinez Beats Jerome LeBanner via submission (Kesa Gatame and grind out) (R1, 2:09)
Maria Olveira Beats Alyssa Garcia via unanimous decision
Kanna Asakura Beats Sylwia Juskiewicz via unanimous decision
Irene Cabello Beats Miyuu Yamamoto via submission (armbar) (R2, 2:26)
Jin Mandokoro Beats Issei Ishii via majority decision – kickboxing
Yuki vs. Hironori Kurogi ends in a majority draw – kickboxing
Ryota RenseiGym Beats Yoshihisa Morimoto via TKO (R3) – kickboxing
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