Fight Facts: Rizin 28

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and ring rarities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Rizin Fighting Federation rocked the Tokyo Dome with the first MMA in that venue in years. Several bantamweight tourney matches and the inaugural lightweight championship bout were some of the many attractions, as well as a one-on-three kumite contest. Rizin 28 featured a repeat performance from two talented teammates, a mighty soccer kick knockout and the 100th judges’ decision in organizational history.

Hello Japan! Rizin 28 went down in the Tokyo Dome in the Bunkyo section of Tokyo, making it the first event in Rizin history held in this famed stadium. Not since Pride FC: Final Conflict 2003 had an MMA event been staged in the Tokyo Dome.

The Pandemic Isn’t Over Yet: Although over 67,000 fans packed the Tokyo Dome at Final Conflict 2003, COVID-19 restrictions limited the capacity for Rizin 28 to roughly 50 percent capacity, and the total attendance has not yet been revealed.

The Team That Subs Together Clubs Together: Teammates Kleber Koike Erbst and Roberto de Souza have appeared at two Rizin events together, first at Rizin 27 and then Rizin 28. On both cards, both men prevailed with triangle chokes.

One-Upping One Another: As Erbst and De Souza secured triangle chokes, the two grappling wizards made this event the second in company history to display multiple chokes of this nature. The first came when both men tapped their adversaries at the aforementioned Rizin 27.

Sleepy Time T: Erbst’s triangle of Mikuru Asakura put the Japanese fighter to sleep, making the former KSW champ the first to render an opponent unconscious with this move in Rizin.

Good Night: Rizin 28 is the first Rizin event where the night ended with a fighter getting completely choked out.

Hardly a One-Trick Pony: Across his 28 wins in a career that began in 2008, Erbst has finished 26 of those opponents. Twenty-four have come by submission, including all three in the Rizin ring.

Sneaking Up the Leaderboard: With those three Rizin submission wins with Rizin in tow, Erbst is already tied for the second-most submission victories in Rizin history. Ayaka Hamasaki stands alone with five.

One More Lost to Boxing: A non-MMA bout was featured after the intermission, when wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa faced Koki Osaki, Hiroya Kawabe and Hideo Tokoro in rapid succession. Under boxing rules, the special exhibition match was ruled a draw as Nasukawa was unable to knock out any of his three foes. It is not the first time where Rizin matched one fighter against numerous opponents – Roberto de Souza tapped five people at Rizin 21 in 2020.

Tournament Schnournament: For the first time in Rizin history, the lightweight strap was up for grabs at this event. 2019 lightweight tournament victor Tofiq Musayev took on de Souza, and de Souza emerged victorious by submission.

Taking the Belt Back to Japan: To win the lightweight belt, “Satoshi” de Souza performed the second-fastest submission in promotional history by tapping out Musayev at 1:12 of the opening frame.

Satoshi Slaying: As a professional, de Souza has only gone out of the first round one time, when he faced Satoru Kitaoka at Rizin 15 in 2019. All of his wins have come by finish within two rounds.

My Brother, This One’s for You: Putting Shuto Watanabe away in the first round, Kai Asakura earned his sixth knockout as a Rizin fighter. He is now tied with Kyoji Horiguchi and Rena Kubota for the second-most in Rizin history.

Bring Out the Punting Unit: Punches and a follow-up soccer kick earned Naoki Inoue the win over Shintaro Ishiwatari to advance to the quarterfinals of the bantamweight tournament. Inoue becomes the 10th fighter to land a soccer kick knockout under the Rizin banner.

Hiromasa Overtime: A three-round encounter resulted in Hiromasa Ougikubo getting the nod over Takeshi Kasugai to move on in the tournament. The decision win was Ougikubo’s 15th as a pro, and each of his last five victories have come on the scorecards.

No Ring Outs: In a non-title bout, featherweight champ Yutaka Saito faced Vugar Karamov and prevailed by a contentious split decision. The non-defending champion was thrown out of the ring at one point.

Showcase Match for Whom: With a rear-naked choke in the third round, Shoma Shibisai retained his perfect 100 percent finish rate by tapping Tsuyoshi Sudario.

Not Quite Big Man Sub: Shibisai is the third heavyweight in Rizin history to secure a submission, joining Valentin Moldavsky and Roque Martinez. While others in the heavyweight range have performed submissions including Shibisai himself, they were contested at openweight.

Su-Su-Sudario: Each of the last four heavyweight bouts for Rizin has featured Sudario in some fashion, and all four have ended by stoppage. The last non-Sudario heavyweight tilt was Roque Martinez vs. Hideki Sekine at Rizin 21 in early 2020.

Red Card No Bueno: The card opener contained a 160-pound catchweight contest as Satoshi Yamasu took on Noah Bey, and Yamasu won by split decision. It was the first Rizin catchweight fight to go the distance since Stephanie Egger defeated Reina Miura at Rizin 17 in 2019.

Sitting in Judgment 100-Fold: The three-round bout between Yamasu and Bey marked the 100th time a fight had gone to the judges’ scorecards for Rizin MMA contests.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Rizin 28, M. Asakura had never been finished (17 fights), Inoue had never scored a knockout (17 fights) and Bey had never competed in MMA (20 kickboxing matches).

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