RIZIN 2017 IN YOKOHAMA – 04/16/2017: About Women’s GP

Kanna Asakura

In a casual junket session took place after the press conference held in Tokyo earlier this month, RIZIN head Nobuyuki Sakakibara shared his vision on women’s GP with the reporters, “Either 49 or 50 kg for the Women’s GP, but I would like to do this at 50 kg (110.23 lbs). I am thinking 8-women tournament, four first-round bouts in the fall, then on either December 29th or 31st, do both semi-final bouts and final in one day.”

Right now, in terms of women in RIZIN, its either about RENA or Gabi Garcia.

RENA is the Japanese star with athleticism and pretty looks. She has been the star in the Japanese MMA for past few months, and making some appearances in the Japanese TV variety shows as well.

Garcia is the muscle monster that is also getting some attention from the Japanese main stream media and pro-wrestling fans.

But its not easy to find enough legit female MMA fighters to do the GP at Garcia’s weight class so its only natural and make sense for RIZIN to do GP at the weight class suitable for their star fighter, RENA.

This, probably, is the reason why Sakakibara thinking 50 kg for the GP.
In most of her Shoot Boxing fights, RENA has been fighting at 50 kg & under. That is where she is most comfortable.

Also, 110 lbs is a perfect weight class for RIZIN’s another female start Miyu Yamamoto.

Just like the lightweight division back in the PRIDE, which was below 73 kg / 160.9 lbs instead of 155 lbs, looks like RIZIN is following the same path of creating the its own weight classes where their Japanese stars have the highest possibility of coming up with good results.

In terms of who is going to be the eight competitors for this GP, unless she gets injured, RENA is basically confirmed. Also, if she wishes, then Yamamoto shouldn’t have any problem securing the spot.

If that is the case, then Andy Nguyen, who defeated Yamamoto, and the current KOTC champion, deserves to be in this GP. RIZIN seems to like that a Californian was chosen as “The 10 Sexiest MMA Fighter” anyways.

Alyssa Garcia, who defeated Kanna Asakura in RIZIN 3, might also get a call as well.

And of course, two winners of 48 kg & under bouts taking place in the next RIZIN at Yokohama Arena, more than likely, will receive invites from the GP. Two out of four in these two fights are Japanese, Asakura and Saori Ishioka, so for the Japanese MMA’s sake, let’s hope at least one would win and get into the GP.

If above predictions are all correct, then there is going to be two spots left in GP.
RIZIN could fill these spots with “recommended fighters” from affiliated promotions or Fedor Emelianenko’s team like they did in men’s GP.

There are tons of good female fighters between atomweight and strawweight. Many of them are same level as RENA too so let’s hope RIZIN would book someone interesting.

Sunday, April 16th, 2017
At Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

Men’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Kyoji Horiguchi (Japan / ATT) vs Yuki Motoya (Japan / CB IMPACT)

Women’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 5 mim / 3R
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Dora Perjes (Hungary / Bardosi Martial Arts Acade)

Men’s Featherweight (65.8 kg) But 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD) vs Anthony Birchak (10th Planet Tucson)

Men’s Flyweight (56.7 kg) Bout 3 min / 3R
Teshin Nasukawa (Japan / Team Tenshin) vs Francesco Ghigliotti (Italy / Sempre Avanti)

120 kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Satoshi Ishii (Japan / Independent) vs Heath Herring (USA / Las Vegas Combat Club)

Men’s Lightweight (79.3 Kg) Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Yusuke Yachi (Japan / KRAZY BEE) vs Daron Cruickshank (USA / Michigan Top Team)

Women’s 90 Kg & Under bout 5 min / 3R
KING Reina (Japan / Reversal Gym Tachikawa ALPHA) vs Jazzy Gabert (Germany / Independent)

Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Kanna Asakura (Japan / Paraestra Matsudo) vs Alesander Tochevea (Bulgaria / Desant MMA & astos BJJ Varna)

Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Saori Ishioka (Japan / Zendo-kai) vs Bestare Kicaj (Switzerland / 360 Martial Arts)

Men’s 58 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 5R
Kizaemon Saiga (Japan / Me, We) vs Seiichiro Ito (Japan / Reversal Gym Yokohama Ground Slam)