Rena Kubota Knee Halts Miyuu Yamamoto’s Plans for Revenge in Rizin 32 Headliner

By Tudor Leonte Nov 20, 2021

Some five years after their first bout took place, Rena Kubota still has Miyuu Yamamoto’s number.

In the Rizin 32 main event, Kubota (12-3, 11-2 Rizin) defeated Miyuu Yamamoto (6-6, 6-6 Rizin) via technical knockout in a super atomweight bout at Okinawa Arena in Okinawa, Japan, on Saturday. Kubota previously tapped Yamamoto with a first-round guillotine choke at Rizin 2 on Sept. 25, 2016.

Early on, Kubota kept her opponent at bay with strikes from afar, limiting Yamamoto’s wrestling as much as possible with jabs and calf kicks. The Krazy Bee representative looked for some lukewarm takedowns that served only to set up a heavy right hand that shook her opponent. Near the end of the first frame, Yamamoto pushed hard to drag her opponent to the canvas, where she scored with some ground-and-pound action until Kubota reversed it into an armbar attempt.

Yamamoto went for a takedown right out the gate in Round 2, following up with body shots and punches that cut her opponent near her left eye. After Kubota scrambled to her feet, Yamamoto continued to remain dedicated to the takedown. That predictable approach eventually allowed Kubota to time a knee to the face of her opponent as she was advancing for another double leg. The effect was immediate, as “Fighting Queen Bee” turtled up due to damage from the shot, and Kubota capitalized with a stream of follow-up punches on the canvas. Once it became apparent that Yamamoto wasn’t defending herself intelligently, referee Masato Fukuda stepped in to halt the bout at the 3:35 mark of Round 2. Kubota will now ride a three-bout winning streak in her next battle.

The co-headliner featured a bantamweight kickboxing affair between former ISKA lightweight kingpin Koji Tanaka and former Tenkaichi Fight champion Kazuma Sone. “Kouzi” was desperately looking for his first victory under the promotional banner following three previous failed attempts. Initially, it appeared that Sone was going to outstrike his opponent with an arsenal of leg kicks, swift punches and footwork that frustrated Tanaka, who also landed an involuntary headbutt. “Kouzi” retaliated with body shots and his strategy paid dividends in the later stanzas. In Round 3, he knocked down Sone, who survived through the count to hear that the judges unanimously rewarded Tanaka with a much-coveted victory.

Elsewhere, Yoshiro Maeda (39-19-3, 1-0 Rizin) imposed his will once again over Mitsuhisa Sunabe (29-10-4, 0-2 Rizin) thanks to a unanimous decision in their 129-pound catchweight rematch; K-1 veteran Bobby Ologun (3-2, 1-0 Rizin) forced Katsuya Kitamura (0-1, 0-1 Rizin) to tap due to a rear-naked choke 2:34 into the second stanza at heavyweight; and Rise welterweight titleholder Noah Bey (1-1, 1-1 Rizin) knocked Daryl Lokuku (9-5-1, 0-1 Rizin) senseless to the canvas with punches 69 seconds into the third frame of their 159-pound catchweight.

Before the intermission, Deep interim lightweight champion Juri Ohara (29-17-2, 2-0 Rizin) stopped Kohei Tokeshi (5-8, 0-1 Rizin) with soccer kicks and punches from above 1:16 into Round 1 of a 159-pound catchweight bout; Haruo Ochi (21-9-2, 1 NC; 2-0, 1 NC Rizin) earned a unanimous decision over Tatsuya So (16-18-4, 0-1 Rizin) at flyweight; in another 125-pound clash, Yuichi Miyagi (17-10-1, 1-0 Rizin) crushed Tomohiro Adaniya (21-15-3, 0-1 Rizin) with a vicious knee 47 seconds out of the gate; Mizuki Oshiro (4-4, 1–0 Rizin) took home a narrow split decision over Aira Koga (2-1, 0-1 Rizin) at super atomweight; in a 163-pound catchweight, Tanner Lourenco (1-0, 1-0 Rizin) scored a successful mixed martial arts debut after choking Shinya Kumazawa (6-11, 0-1 Rizin) with his foe’s own gi at the 1:34 mark of Round 2; Hirokatsu Miyagi smashed Lopez Satsuma, who is 20 years his senior, with punches at the 2:39 mark in the opening frame of their 160-pound catchweight kickboxing matchup; Sho Sekihara (8-2, 1-0 Rizin) upended Takahiro Kuniyoshi (2-4-1, 0-1 Rizin) via unanimous decision in a 128-pound catchweight; and in the 120-pound catchweight kickboxing fight that opened the card, 17-year-old Ryoga Terayama unanimously outpointed Hiroki Kinjo.
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