RIZIN roared back into our lives this Sunday at the Saitama Super Arena (with a crowd in attendance) with an action-packed MMA and kickboxing card that, surprisingly, yielded only four finishes.
The most notable of those stoppages came in the co-main event when RIZIN bantamweight champion Kai Asakura took on DEEP and Pancrase veteran Shoji Maruyama in a non title bout. The finish was swift and brutal with Asakura landed two hard punches on Maruyama inside the opening minute of the bout. The second floored Maruyama. The ground is hot lava when it comes to fighting Asakura, the champ swarmed his opponent with a punch, knee and soccer kick to earn the first round TKO.
This is Asakura’s second stoppage via soccer kicks in a row. Last time out he knocked down and blitzed Hiromasa Ougikubo to earn the vacant RIZIN 135 lb belt. The win took Asakura’s overall record to 15-2. The 26-year-old has wins over stoppage wins over Ulka Sasaki and former RIZIN and Bellator bantamweight champion and UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi. His two losses are to recent UFC signing Manel Kape and journeyman Je Hoo Moon (who he then beat a year later).
The headliner featured kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa padding his highlight reel with a unanimous decision win over Koji Tanaka. The 22-year-old phenom, whose only career blemish is a pasting by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an odd exhibition bout in 2018, battered Tanaka with combos and flashy kicks for the duration of the contest, taking his pro kickboxing record to 36-0.
Also on the card DEEP lightweight champion Koji Takeda beat Shoot lightweight champion Yuki Kawana by split decision in a thrilling back and forth contest. There were also victories for the wildly popular Rena Kubota and disgraced former sumo wrestler Sudario Tsuyoshi. Tsuyoshi was forced to retire from sumo in 2019 after being accused of assaulting an attendant at his stable.
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Koji Tanaka by unanimous decision (kickboxing).
Too fast, too strong, too good. Tenshin Nasukawa (38-0) outscores tough Osaka emperor Kouzi, landing his jab and flying knees at will and continuing his reign over the Kickboxing world. #RIZIN24 pic.twitter.com/oEAUeNPcT6— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) September 27, 2020
Kai Asakura def. Shoji Maruyama via TKO (soccer kick), round 1 (2:37).
Koji Takeda def. Yuki Kawana via split decision.
Takasuke Kume def. Satoru Kitaoka via split decision.
Kenta Takizawa def. Yuto Hokamura via split decision.
Taishi Hiratsuka def. Yuki Kitagawa by KO (punch), round 2 (0:27) (kickboxing).
Rena Kubota def. Emi Tomimatsu via unanimous decision.
Kyohei Hagiwara def. Takahiro Ashida via submission (modified hammerlock), round 1 (4:25).
Sudario Tsuyoshi def. Dylan James via TKO (doctor stoppage due to a broken nose), round 1 (5:00).
Mutsuki Ebata def. Rasta by unanimous decision (kickboxing).
Juri Ohara def. Yusuke Yachi via split decision.