Kyoji Horiguchi just keeps gathering momentum.
The Japanese standout made short work of fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Ian McCall in the Rizin Fighting Federation 10 headliner, as he stopped “Uncle Creepy” just nine seconds into their bout in Fukuoka Japan on Sunday.
Horiguchi slipped a left hand from McCall and countered with a clean left hook, which sent his opponent tumbling to his seat. The fight was halted shortly thereafter before Horiguchi could land any follow-up blows on the canvas.
The American Top Team product has won nine straight fights as he continues to put the memory of his loss to Demetrious Johnson in a flyweight title bout at UFC 186 further in his rear-view mirror. McCall, who was making his second appearance under the Rizin FF banner, lost his third consecutive bout.
“Thank you very much Ian for taking the fight,” Horiguchi said. “He came forward, and I aimed for the counter. That’s it.”
Kanna Asakura, winner of Rizin’s 2017 atomweight grand prix, earned her seventh consecutive victory with a lopsided unanimous decision over Melissa Sophia Karagianis. After the bout, Shoot Boxing convert and Rizin poster girl Rena Kubota entered the ring to ask Asakura for a rematch of their December bout, possibly at Rizin 11 on July 29.
The undercard saw a pair of big-show veterans square off against Japanese opposition, with mixed results. UFC, WEC and Bellator vet Diego Nunes dropped a split decision to surging Krazy Bee product Yusuke Yachi, whose six-fight win streak also includes victories over Takanori Gomi and Satoru Kitaoka. Meanwhile, “Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank put the brakes on his two-fight losing skid and turned out the lights on Shooto 154-pound champion Koshi Matsumoto with a kick to the jaw at 3:50 of the opening round.
Brash bantamweight Manel Kape taunted and fired imaginary guns at opponent Kai Asakura before the start of their 130-pound contest, but it was Asakura who had the last laugh. The king of Japan’s thug-fight promotion The Outsider stole a razor-thin split decision from an incredulous Kape, who left the ring spitting profanities after the verdict was announced.
Former Invicta FC atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki was successful in her Rizin debut, earning a three-round unanimous decision victory over American Alyssa Garcia. Hamasaki faded in the final frame, but even copious cornering from Josh Barnett could not help Garcia outgrapple the AACC representative.
#RIZIN10 FIGHT 5: Hamasaki working on an armbar in final seconds of round 3. Ayaka Hamasaki put on a great performance to win the match— FITE (@FiteTV) May 6, 2018
One match left before 1st intermission for the night, who's watching? pic.twitter.com/Mqe2s3pve6
A pair of heavyweight undercard bouts somehow managed to go the distance, despite the presence of powerful punchers in both matchups. Mirko “Cro Crop” protégée Ante Delija shut down onetime Chelsea FC goalkeeping prospect Ricardo Prasel in a ground-and-pound rout, while Suriname-born Dutchman Jairzinho Rozenstruik nipped a split decision from Ukrainian Andrey Kovalev. Rozenstruik was issued a yellow card at the start of the bout after walking to the ring covered in an unknown substance which had to be wiped off his body by officials.
In the evening’s first MMA contest, strawweight standout Kanako Murata had little difficulty employing her wrestle-heavy style against English striker Lanchana Green, an 11th-hour replacement for Weili Zhang. After a prolonged arm-triangle choke attempt, Murata finally secured a tap via anaconda choke at 4:52 of round one.