Kai Asakura (13-1) shocks the world, lamping the two-division, two-promotion terror himself, Kyoji Horiguchi, in no time flat! A star is born as the former Outsider champ is now 5-0 in RIZIN. He has ended 10, eight apiece in round one or by knockout. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/cPOjr62vY8— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
No title was on the line in the Rizin Fighting Federation 18 main event, but don’t tell that to Kai Asakura.
Horiguchi (28-3), who holds the 135-pound belt in both Rizin and Bellator MMA, had a 13-fight winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since dropping a unanimous verdict to Demetrious Johnson in a flyweight title affair at UFC 186 in April 2015. The victory could set Asakura (13-1) up for a title shot against Horiguchi down the road.
Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2) shows why she's the atomweight queen, turning the tide of Suwanan Boonsorn's grappling to nab a nasty, first-round armbar! The RIZIN champ moves to 5-0 with the org in non-title action. Five of her eight subs are via armbar. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/5VJg3b89Ud— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
In the co-main event, female pound-for-pound talent Ayaka Hamasaki survived some precarious positions and rallied to submit Suwanan Boonsorn in an atomweight clash. The end came 3:20 into the opening stanza, as the reigning champion tapped Boonsorn with an armbar.
Boonsorn (3-2) had her moments in her Rizin debut, taking Hamasaki’s back and mounting her opponent earlier in the round. However, once Hamasaki was able to lock in the armbar, the Thai fighter had no choice but to tap out. Hamasaki (19-2) has now won five consecutive bouts.
Josh Barnett's globetrotting, ass-kicking protégé puts on a show in his RIZIN debut, as Victor Henry (19-4) taps Trent Girdham with an amazing reverse triangle choke! The DEEP champ boosts his tear to seven and sets himself up for a shot at Horiguchi. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/vT6RIYcPgN— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
In other action, Victory Henry submitted Trent Girdham (9-3) with a reverse triangle in a featured bantamweight tilt. The end cam at the 2:14 mark of Round 3. A protégé of former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, Henry (19-4) has won seven consecutive fights.
RIZIN's flamboyant, bling-toting firebrand dusts a legend, as Manel Kape (14-4) detonates Takeya Mizugaki with a second-round right! The promising Angolan has stopped 13, eight by knockout. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/OA3aFN9ouH— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
Meanwhile, Manel Kape (14-4) scored the biggest victory of his career to date, knocking out UFC veteran Takeya Mizugaki at the 1:36 mark of Round 2 in their bantamweight crap. Kape cracked Mizugaki with a right uppercut before stepping off at an angle and dropping his foe with a right hook to the chin. Once Mizugaki (23-14-2) hit the canvas, referee Minoru Toyonaga immediately stepped in to wave off the bout, giving Kape his second-consecutive finish under the Rizin banner.
Kanna Asakura (15-4) weaves a sharp one-two into her patchwork, outboxing Invicta's Alesha Zappitella en route to a promising and much-needed split decision win! RIZIN's starlet and Atomweight Grand Prix winner looks much improved. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/0RYjvjJFE6— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
Atomweight grand prix winner Kanna Asakura rebounded from an upset loss to Miyuu Yamamoto in June, as she captured a hard-earned split verdict against Invicta FC prospect Alesha Zappitella (5-2). Asakura (15-4) relied on her crisp boxing to carry her to victory.
Earlier: A 117-pound clash between Jarred Brooks and Haruo Ochi was ruled a no contest after 11 seconds due to an accidental clash of heads; Hiroto Uesako stopped Yves Landu via technical knockout 3:45 into Round 2 at lightweight; Justin Scoggins outpointed Kazuma Sone in a bantamweight matchup; Takaki Soya stopped Yutaro Muramoto with punches at the 1:28 mark of Round 2 at 130 pounds and Ai Shimizu took a unanimous decision against Tabatha Ann Watkins at atomweight.