Horiguchi, Asakura win grand prix tournaments at Rizin finals

Kyoji Horiguchi and Kanna Asakura started 2018 in the spotlight by winning the Rizin bantamweight and women’s super atomweight grand prix tournaments respectively.  Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: Final Round took place December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan with an iPPV through the promotion’s website.

Kyoji Horiguchi used a counter-striking strategy to defeat Shintaro Ishiwatari in the main event.  Horiguchi tried to bait Ishiwatari to close the distance but it was by catching a leg kick that Horiguchi was able to take Ishiwatari to the ground.  For over a minute Horiguchi pounded on Ishiwatari but was unable to put the former Pancrase champion away.  Shortly after the second round started a counter right from Horiguchi floored Ishiwatari while follow-up punches sealed the TKO at just 0:14 of the round.  Horiguchi who defeated Manel Kape in the semifinals on the same night now stands 23-2 with eight wins in a row, five of them in Rizin since leaving the UFC.  Ishiwatari who in the semifinals defeated Takafumi Otsuka dropped to 25-7-4 with his seven-fight win streak broken.

The women’s super atomweight grand prix seemed designed to boost Rena Kubota to stardom but it was Kanna Asakura who took the honors by submitting the kickboxing standout in the finals.  The bout was basically kickboxing versus wrestling as Asakura wisely closed for takedowns.  Kubota managed to escape the first takedown and stuff the next two but Asakura eventually took her down again.  As Kubota scrambled to regain her feet Asakura sunk in the rear-naked choke for the win with thirty seconds left in the first round.  Asakura improved to 11-2 with six wins in a row, Kubota’s first loss left her MMA record 6-1.

Also on the card Mirko “Cro-Cop” Filipovic defeated Tsuyoshi Kosaka in a one-sided superfight while Yusuke Yachi handed Takanori Gomi his sixth straight loss.

Rizin Day 2 results

  • BW GP semifinals: Kyoji Horiguchi def. Manel Kape 4:27 R3 by arm-triangle choke
  • BW GP semifinals: Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Takafumi Otsuka by unanimous decision
  • Women’s super atomweight GP semifinals: Rena Kubota def. Irene Caballo Rivera 4:39 R1 by TKO
  • Women’s super atomweight GP semifinals: Kanna Asakura def. Marisa de Oliveira Neta 3:40 R2 by armbar
  • Yusuke Yachi def. Takanori Gomi 2:36 R1 by triangle choke
  • Shinju Nozawa-Auclair def. Chelsea LaGrasse 4:47 R1 by straight armbar
  • Mirko Filipovic def. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 1:02 R1 by TKO
  • Women’s super atomweight GP finals: Kanna Asakura def. Rena Kubota 4:34 R1 by rear-naked choke
  • BW GP finals: Kyoji Horiguchi def. Shintaro Ishiwatari 0:14 R2 by KO