Even in terms of off weeks for combat sports, the first week of 2018 has been notably quiet. RIZIN finished up the last leg of their 2017 World Grand Prix in style, with Kyoji Horiguchi putting his stamp on the old year, and Ganryujima - better known as Moat Fights - returned with some solid traditional martial arts action. But, otherwise, there just wasn’t a lot going on.
Still, thanks to the handy work of MMA Twitter stalwarts Jolassanda, Bestrafer7, and JonnyBoy fans can still experience all the top flight action there is to see. Check out the highlights below, and obviously, if you’re on Twitter, give these fine people a follow.
RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 Finals
Japan’s largest MMA promotion ended the year in style with three tournament finals semi & final rounds in one night. The event also saw fights from long-time JMMA stars and former UFC talents Mirko CroCop and Takanori Gomi (who did okay losing) along with their non-stop Grand Prix action.
Bantamweight Kyoji Horiguchi (23-2) has moved on from his UFC career in style, taking the Grand Prix title with a powerful right hook that stopped Shintaro Ishiwatari (25-7-4) in his tracks.
Flyweight Yamato Fujita put a killer left hook on the chin of Mitsuhisa Sunabe in the opening round of the kickboxing tournament.
Flyweight Tenshin Nasukawa also picked up an even crazier highlight in his opening round fight against Yuta Hamamoto with the flying double-knee KO.
Ganryujima OUT ENEMY in Maihama 2018
The only other major MMA promotion doing it’s thing to start the new year isn’t really even quite MMA. Recognizable to hardcore fans as something more akin to the early days of mixed martial arts, Ganryujima (affectionately known as Moat Fights) has been getting together high level martial artists from around the world for their own version of kumite.
Evgeny Shalomaev showed a left hook of his own with his KO of Carlos Toyota.
Satoshi ‘Tiger’ Date took the highlight of the week, no question, with a rolling thunder KO of Shunsuke Kazuki in the event’s opening bout.
dead— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 3, 2018
Tiger Date with KO - Ganryujima always brings it pic.twitter.com/mjOkhnHy8w
This week’s major boxing event came from Accra, Ghana. Where national star and now 18-0 Isaac Dogboe TKO’d, now 20-6, Cesar Juarez off the back of a stunning left hook in round 5 to claim the vacant WBO Interim Super Bantamweight Title.
Finally, the weekly Muay Thai roundup from the major events in the art of 8 limbs.
Kunpon Sitkaewprapon landed a brutal short right elbow on Revo Bangkokariyon at Muay Thai 7.
helbow— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 7, 2018
Kunpon Sitkaewprapon KOs Revo Bangkokariyon (Muaythai7) pic.twitter.com/umlNBCRYrh
Also at Muay Thai 7, Detchrit Kor.Saengjan with a long right hand to stop Rainbow So.Kor.Sugaigym
Rainbow is … somewhere— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 7, 2018
Detchrit Kor.Saengjan KOs Rainbow So.Kor.Sugaigym (Muaythai7) pic.twitter.com/pCtmoR65QO
Over at Max Muay Thai, Jardel Fernandes landed a crushing right elbow on Rattasaat Loukpichit.
hellbow !— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 7, 2018
Jardel Fernandes KOs Rattasaat Loukpichit (Ultimate MT) pic.twitter.com/vpBN8JnxIP
And finally a clubbing elbow KO from Petchpattaya Petchasira over Dekraber Loukaangtanon.
That’s all for this week’s fistic action. Stay tuned for the next time the UFC takes some time off, where we’ll once again be highlighting the best action around the rest of the combat sports world.