RIZIN – 10/15/2017: Rena to Face Nguyen in Tournament Opening Round

RENA, a.k.a. Rena Kubota

RENA, a.k.a. Rena Kubota, will face Andy Nguyen in the opening round of RIZIN women’s super-atomweight tournament.

RIZIN announced this on Tuesday at the press conference held at the Cesar Gym in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Nguyen is the current KOTC atomweiwght champ that submitted Miyu Yamamoto in last year’s RIZIN. She is currently preparing for her third title defense scheduled on August 12th.

RENA’s impression on Nguyen is, “I heard she is a striker but honestly I thought Yamamoto-san landed more. I don’t feel like I would lose to her in a striking battle, and my ground game is improving. Sure, she has more years of experience in grappling so I have to be cautious but I feel she just can’t beat me.”

RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara explained why he chose Nguyen for RENA’s opponent, “Fighters like RENA or Tenshin (Nasukawa) would beat mediocre fighters from overseas. In SNS,  the fans to poke fun at them by saying something like, we brought in fighters that they can beat. RENA didn’t want the fans to feel that way so she wanted to fight someone with achievements.”

But is Nguyen really the one with “achievements” that is high enough to be qualified for this GP?

She is 5-3 in pro MMA which is nothing spectacular.

Sure Nguyen is the current KOTC champ who also had 20 amateur fights prior to her pro MMA debut in 2013. Yet she was 7-13 as ammy, and KOTC is not exactly the major league. To win this belt, she beat Cassie Rob, who had only one pro MMA win before the title fight.

Not sure if booking Nguyen to fight RENA would shut up those critical fans out there.

Because, even with Ngyuen in the picture, this GP still do look like tournament made for RENA to win.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
At Marine Messe Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
Doors Open – 12:30
Fight Starts – 14:00

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change) –

Women’s Super-Atomweight Tournament First Round Bout 5 min / 3R

  • RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Andy Nguyen (USA / Karate Mafia)

RIZIN Grappling Rules Bout

  • Kazushi Sakuraba (Japan / Independent) vs Dan Henderson (USA / Team Quest)


Confirmed Fighter (s):

  • Shintaro Ishiwatari (Japan / CAVE)
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD)
  • Teshin Nasukawa (Japan / TARGET)
  • Miyu Yamamoto (Japan / KRAZY BEE)
  • Arsen Yamamoto (Japan / KRAZY BEE)
  • Shinju Ozawa Auclair (USA / Independent)


Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)