Fighting for his fallen karate master, Kyoji Horiguchi turns back a heroic effort from Hiromasa Ogikubo! Weathering an early knockdown and takedowns from the two-division Shooto champ, Horiguchi (25-2) stormed back and dominated to boost his win streak to 10. #RIZIN11 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/AumCCjqvlh— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) July 29, 2018
Kyoji Horiguchi continues to cement himself as one of the top lighter weight fighters in the world, regardless of organization.
The former UFC title challenger weathered an early storm to win a decision in a rematch with Hiromasa Ogikubo at Rizin Fighting Federation 11 on Saturday at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan. Ogikubo, a two-division Shooto champ, floored his opponent early, but could not capitalize on the fast start, as Horiguchi gradually took control. While the Japanese star was unable to get a finish, he did batter his foe with punches to the face and soccer kicks to the body, leaving Ogikubo bloodied at the end of the 10-minute affair.
Horiguchi has now won 10 consecutive fights, and the only man to beat him in his last 20 appearances is reigning UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson. Horiguchi previously defeated Ogikubo via second-round submission at a Shooto event in March 2013.
In the evening’s official main event, Rizin 108-pound grand prix champion Kanna Asakura outpointed Rena Kubota in a rematch of their tournament final bout that took place on New Year’s Eve. Asakura won the first meeting via rear-naked choke in the opening frame.
Kanna Asakura (13-2) outpoints an improved RENA in their rematch, once again leaning on her prodigious grappling for the win. RENA had her moments on the feet and flashed good sub defense, though her offense paled in comparison to that of the 20-year-old wonder. #RIZIN11 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/qgqtDuKwgE— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) July 29, 2018
While Kubota was able to go the distance this time around, Asakura imposed her will through takedowns and top control. The 20-year-old talent attacked with ground-and-pound and hunted for submissions throughout the contest, and while Kubota had her moments on the feet, it was not enough to sway the judges.
Elsewhere, in a battle of struggling former UFC talents, Takanori Gomi scored a much-needed victory against Melvin Guillard in a 161-pound clash. The short-lived encounter had plenty of action, as Guillard briefly put Gomi on wobbly legs, only to see “The Fireball Kid” storm back to score a knockout victory with a flurry of punches against the ropes 2:33 into the opening stanza.
Gomi halted a six-fight skid with the win, while Guillard in winless in his last nine professional appearances.
Hell yes! Takanori Gomi knocks out Melvin Guillard in the first round! The 39-year-old legend (36-15, 1 NC) snaps a six-fight skid and scores his first KO since 2012! #RIZIN11 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/i1F8Rg2dTl— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) July 29, 2018
Meanwhile, “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner Diego Brandao won four the third time in four outings with a first-round stoppage of Satoru Kitaoka in a lightweight tilt. When Kitaoka attempted to secure a leg lock position from his back, Brandao responded by unleashing a series of brutal right hands to the face before the bout was waved off at the 1:30 mark of round one.
Diego Brandão takes full advantage of Satoru Kitaoka's submission-happy psychosis, dropping bombs on the former Sengoku champ to score a first-round KO! The UFC vet and TUF 14 winner (23-12) nabs his 13th KO/TKO win. #RIZIN11 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/mPuFHEPoN7— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) July 29, 2018
In other action: Jiri Prochazka knocked out Bruno Henrique Cappelozza 1:23 into the first period in a light heavyweight contest; Unurjargal Boldpurev captured a unanimous verdict over Shoma Shibisai at heavyweight; Miyuu Yamamoto took a split decision against Saori Ishioka at 108 pounds; Thanongsaklek Chuwattana knocked out Tadaaki Yamamoto in 66 seconds at 130 pounds and Daron Cruickshank forced Tom Santos to submit to elbows at the 4:11 mark of round three.