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RIZIN results: Cro Cop wins Openweight GP, Gracie stops Kawajiri

The RIZIN Openweight Grand Prix ended with a familiar winner.


RIZIN stepped up with Japan’s annual New Year’s Eve card this year, and it was actually pretty good. They brought back memories of Pride with their wacky angles, and a lot of the fights impressed with their action and intensity. A legend also won the Openweight Grand Prix as well, so that helped. Here’s a rundown of how things went.

Mirko Cro Cop wins Openweight Grand Prix

After defeating King Mo via TKO two days ago, he opened this show with a quick win over Baruto. The sumo wrestler backed him into the corner, but Cro Cop cracked him with a knee to the belly and that was that. In the finals, he took on Iranian Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Amir Aliakbari. The wrestler tried to tie the legend up, but Cro Cop cracked him with a left that put him down. A follow-up and some GnP earned the Croatian the OWGP belt, a fat check, a watch, and a cruise to Barcelona (seriously).

Kron Gracie defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri via submission, round 2

Kron may be the most legit Gracie in a long time. He engaged Kawajiri in the clinch and cut him open with punches in the first round, and didn’t take any serious damage himself. And while pulling guard in MMA is generally seen as a bad move, it worked for him. He won the first round in every area, and somehow managed to take Kawajiri’s back from the ground while Crusher was attempting to stomp him early in the second. From there he sunk a choke and tapped out a guy that just gave Cub Swanson a very competitive fight. In his fourth career bout. Very, very impressive.

Gabi Garcia defeated Yumiko Hotta by TKO (strikes), round 1

This was a farce, as expected. Hotta was a much smaller, older pro wrestler, and she tried to ham it up by running the ropes when the bell rang. Garcia grabbed her, landed a knee to the body, and beat her up with punches to get the quick win. Afterward, a German pro wrestler came out to challenge Gabi and they did a goofy pull-apart brawl thing where Cris Cyborg had to hold Garcia back. It wasn’t exactly must-see TV.

Full results:

Mirko Cro Cop defeated Amir Aliakbari by TKO (strikes), round 1 (OWGP Final)

Kron Gracie defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri by submission (rear naked choke), round 2

Hideo Tokoro defeated Erson Yamamoto by submission (armbar), round 1

Rena defeated Hanna Tyson via TKO (body kick), round 3

Andy Nguyen defeated Miyu Yamamoto by submission (armbar), round 1

Kizaemon Saiga defeated Dillin West by TKO (strikes), round 1

Gabi Garcia defeated Yumiko Hotta by TKO (strikes), round 1

Hayato Sakurai defeated Wataru Sakta by TKO (strikes), round 2

Amir Aliakbari defeated Valentin Moldavsky by split decision (OWGP semi-final)

Mirko Cro Cop defeated Baruto by TKO (knee to the body), round 1 (OWGP semi-final)

Tenshin Nasukawa defeated Kawika Oligo by submission (guillotine choke), round 2

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