Fight Facts: Rizin FF 21

By Jay Pettry Feb 26, 2020

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all 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 on Friday kicked off its 2020 campaign with a card half-filled with MMA bouts and the rest consisting of kickboxing and grappling matches. Rizin 21 featured a fighter securing the longest active winning streak with the company, a nasty heavyweight soccer kick knockout and a bizarre jiu-jitsu showcase in which one man faced five opponents.

SUPER RIZIN BROS: For the fourth time in the last five Rizin events, one of two Asakura brothers headlined a card. Mikuru Asakura and Kai Asakura have each headlined two shows, and together, they have won three of those four main events.

‘CRO COP’ ASAKURA: Asakura dispatched Daniel Salas with a head kick and follow-up punches in the headliner. His head kick knockout is the seventh in company history.

ASAKURA MEET ASAKURA: By knocking out Salas, Asakura tied Kanna Asakura for the fourth-most wins in company history with seven. Only Rena Kubota (nine), Kyoji Horiguchi (nine) and Jiri Prochazka (11) hold more.

LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION: All three of Asakura’s finishes with Rizin have come by kicks or knees. He becames the second fighter in promotional history to stop three opponents with leg strikes. Daron Cruickshank was the first.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Asakura is the third fighter in company history to win seven consecutive Rizin bouts, joining Prochazka and Horiguchi.

THE BROTHERS TRADE PLACES: Asakura, now 7-0 with Rizin, is currently the only fighter to go unbeaten with the promotion after at least seven appearances.

NOT A REAL WEIGHT CLASS: This 150-pound catchweight contest was Asakura’s third with the promotion. He has now been involved in more catchweight bouts than any other in Rizin.

PUNTING SEASON: Roque Martinez became the fifth Rizin fighter to end a fight with soccer kicks when he knocked out Hideki Sekine in the first round.

BIG BODY, SMALL POND: Sekine started his MMA career at 7-0, but since then, he has dropped his last four bouts in One Championship and Rizin, all by knockout.

WHY GRAPPLE WHEN YOU CAN PUNCH?: By knocking out Falco Neto Lopes in under 90 seconds, Marcos Yoshio Souza improved his finish rate to 89 percent. It was just the second knockout he had scored in his career, but each of his last two wins have come by stoppage due to strikes.

KATO KO: In the opening frame of their match, Yuto Hokamura put Kenji Kato to sleep with a rear-naked choke. He became the seventh Rizin fighter to render an opponent unconscious with a choke and the fourth to do so via rear-naked choke.

VUGAR DISPLAY OF POWER: Vugar Keramov took a unanimous verdict over Kyle Aguon on the first MMA bout of the night. It was just the second recorded decision win in Keramov’s career. Both of his decision wins have come in his last three fights.

15-MINUTE MAN: After losing a decision to Keramov, Aguon has reached the scorecards in 19 bouts during his 22-fight career. All nine of his defeats have come by decision.

WHAT WAS THAT?: In addition to the five kickboxing matches that started the night, the promotion treated fans to an unusual grappling exhibition. Roberto Satoshi Souza stepped away from MMA briefly to compete against a five-person team consisting of a 13-year-old girl, a comedian, a para jiu-jitsu competitor, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and the legendary Yuki Nakai. Souza tapped all five in just over eight minutes and did so with five different maneuvers.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Rizin 21, the promotion had never traveled to Hamamatsu, Japan, no heavyweight had ever finished a fight with soccer kicks (Martinez) and Trent Girdham had never lost on the scorecards (15 fights).
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