Fight Facts: Rizin FF 15

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.


Rizin Fighting Federation on Sunday staged its first show of 2019 in Yokohama, Japan, where the card started strong and ended with a bang. Rizin 15 featured a title challenger avenging his only loss in the promotion, a Von Flue choke that made history and an unbeaten grappler proving he is more than a one-trick pony.

I LOVE GOLD!: The main event rematch between Muhammed Lawal and Jiri Prochazka put gold on the line at light heavyweight, with the bout the third to decide a Rizin championship and the first in the 205-pound division. The two first met in the Rizin heavyweight grand prix final in 2015, as Lawal won by knockout.

JUST JIRI: Prochazka competed in his 10th bout inside the Rizin ring, becoming the first fighter in company history to amass that many appearances.

SWEET REVENGE: In avenging his loss to the only man to defeat him in Rizin when he knocked out “King Mo” in the third round, Prochazka picked up his seventh knockout victory. This extended his record for the most knockouts in the history of the organization.

PAVING THE WAY TOGETHER: With Prochazka and Kyoji Horiguchi both picking up stoppage victories, they remain tied for the most wins in Rizin history at nine each.

HORIGOODNESS: Horiguchi has picked up nine wins with Rizin since leaving the Ultimate Fighting Championship in late 2016, and under MMA rules, he has never suffered a loss with the promotion. He is the only fighter to never lose after at least seven Rizin MMA fights.

WHAT I LACK WITH SPEED, I MAKE UP FOR IN POWER!: By finishing Ben Nguyen in the first round with strikes, Horiguchi tied Mirko Filipovic for the second-most knockouts in Rizin history, trailing only fellow Rizin 15 competitor Prochazka.

WAY EASIER THAN JIU-JITSU: By knocking out Satoru Kitaoka, Roberto de Souza extended his undefeated record to 8-0 with eight stoppage victories, all within two rounds.

SUFFERIN’ SATORU: Kitaoka suffered his fourth loss with Rizin, tying Erson Yamamoto and Kizaemon Saiga for the most losses in company history. As he has now been knocked out three times in Rizin competition, he holds the most knockouts losses in promotional history.

WANDY TOP TEAM: Two competitors at this event -- Christiano Frohlich and Luiz Gustavo Felix dos Santos -- represented Wanderlei Silva and Evolucao Thai. Both lost by decision.

RIZIN RENA: Rena Kubota competed for the ninth time under the Rizin banner, good for the most fights for a female fighter in company history. When she won a decision over Samantha Jean-Francois, she also became the winningest female fighter in Rizin with seven victories.

AIR MURATA: After putting Saray Orozco Rodriguez to sleep with a Von Flue choke, Kanako Murata is responsible for the only submissions of that type in promotional history. She also became the seventh Rizin fighter to ever record a win by technical submission.

I WANNA GET TECHNICAL: With Murata rendering Rodriguez unconscious, more technical submissions in Rizin history have come from female fighters (four) than their male counterparts (three). Women’s bouts have represented about 26.8 percent of all MMA fights in the Rizin ring to date.

VON PREUX-RATA: Murata has now finished her last two opponents with the elusive Von Flue choke, having previously tapped out Angela Magana with one at Rizin 12 in August. Across the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce, Bellator MMA, Invicta Fighting Championships and Rizin organizations, only one other fighter has ever picked up multiple Von Flue choke victories in their respective promotion: Ovince St. Preux. Murata is still the only female fighter among those organizations to ever win with that particular submission.

DIFF’RENT SPORTS TO MOVE THE WORLD: Tenshin Nasukawa improved his undefeated kickboxing record to 30-0 with 24 knockouts when he finished Fritz Biagtan in the third round.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Rizin 15, de Souza had never fought beyond the first round (eight fights), Ito had never been knocked out (16 fights) and Koji Takeda (eight fights) and Gustavo (nine fights) had never been defeated.

GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS: Horiguchi was accompanied by “My Time” by Fabolous featuring Jeremih prior to facing Nguyen. He has used the track in every one of his fights for both the UFC and Rizin -- a total of 17 appearances. While using that song, he has lost just once, the setback coming against then-pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson. He did also suffer one loss in Rizin against Nasukawa after walking out to the track at Rizin 13, but it was under kickboxing rules.

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.
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