Well, folks... it’s gonna keep happening.
Floyd Mayweather has found yet again an opportunity under RIZIN to face a relative novice for an unreasonable sum of money. This time, it’s MMA bad boy Mikuru Asakura stepping in against the 50-0 former champ. And good for him.
Seriously, if he gets a bigger payday, the best we can hope for is that this increases visibility for Asakura. Seems like every other sign is pointing to this being a terrible idea, but it’s already been agreed to by all parties. No backsies.
The only thing that’s truly been interesting is the lead-up.
In what should have been a simple face to face at a press conference, Asakura was shoved by Mayweather’s bodyguard. Asakura kept his cool, and things didn’t escalate from there in the moment.
That led to an odd series of events that ended up with Mayweather’s bodyguard on the card against kickboxer Koji Takeda. It gave us this series of interactions:
For the record, this will be a custom-rules fight that is not expected to go to the ground. Because of course.
Now that we’ve got the absurdity out of the way, the rest of this portion of the card we’ll move on to the RIZIN 38 event that has a banger of a main event, the women’s super atomweight tournament, and some fun bouts sprinkled throughout.
Kyoji Horiguchi (29-5) returns to RIZIN in the division he ruled not too long ago. He meets DEEP and Pancrase veteran Yoto Hokamura. Hokamura’s record numbers aren’t great, but he’s an action fighter more than anything. This should be a fun showcase to cap off the night.
And I say that, because the real substance is before the main event. Seika Izawa (7-0) stunned the world when she managed to come in as an unheralded 23-year-old to finish Ayaka Hamasaki. Hamasaki was 23-3 while Izawa was only 4-0. Even more insane than that was when they had an immediate rematch four months later and Izawa won again by unanimous decision. Now Izawa is in the super atomweight tournament’s first leg as she meets Ukraine’s Anastasiya Svetkivska (2-1). After an impressive run with IMMAF, Svetkivska rattled off impressive back to back wins to start her pro career. She suffered her first loss against Rena Kubota this summer, and looks to get back on track and halting the momentum of a very talented young grappling prodigy.
Speaking of Hamasaki (24-5), the former Invicta champ takes on Si Woo Park (8-4). Park has a previous loss to Izawa, but holds wins over Kanna Asakura and Rena Kubota.
Former Shooto Japan and Ultimate Fighter contestant Hiromasa Ogikubo (25-5, 2 draws) returns to action. The grappling ace with sneaky striking meets former two-division ROAD FC champ Soo Chul Kim (27-6, 1 draw). Kim’s been a tough guy to put away since his days in ONE, and he presents a few problems standing with his clinch game and inside work.
Finally, Wanderlei Silva protégé Luiz Gustavo (11-2) returns to RIZIN to face former DEEP talent Juri Ohara 31-17, 3 draws. Ohara’s on an eight-fight win streak and a scrappy enough guy to give Gustavo some problems. But Gustavo’s got deadly accuracy with his strikes and a superb finishing instinct.
Here’s some great highlights of Hiromasa Ogikubo:
And another one, this time featuring Kyoji Horiguchi:
And a neat little trailer for the event:
Full cards are as follows:
- Super RIZIN
Floyd Mayweather vs Mikuru Asakura - Boxing exhibition
Koji Takeda vs Ray Sadeghi - Custom rules bout
Nadaka Yoshinari vs Bandasak So Trakunpet - Kickboxing
Kota Miura vs Bunchuai Phongsungnoen - 150lbs
- RIZIN 38
Kyoji Horiguchi vs Yuto Hokamura - 134lbs
Seika Izawa vs Anastasiya Svetkivska - Super atomweight tournament bout
Ayaka Hamasaki vs Si Woo Park - Super atomweight tournament bout
Hiromasa Ogikubo vs Soo Chul Kim - 134lbs
Shoma Shibisai vs Cally Gibrainn de Oliveira - Heavyweight
Kyohei Hagiwara vs Chihiro Suzuki - 146lbs
Juri Ohara vs Luiz Gustavo - 157lbs
Super RIZIN takes place Saturday night for those of us stateside, starting at 11:00pm EST. The initial portion of the card will be available for purchase over at FITE.tv. That event dovetails into RIZIN 38, starting at 1:00am EST.