Roberto de Souza bounced back from his first professional defeat in style.
The 30-year-old known as “Satoshi” authored a quick finish of Yusuke Yachi in the Rizin Fighting Federation 22 headliner, earning a technical knockout victory 1:52 into the opening stanza of their bout at Pia Arena MMA in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday. It was the Japanese promotion’s first card since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement of its event schedule.
De Souza (10-1) wasted little time landing a takedown and moving to full mount, where he maintained the dominant position and unloaded with a barrage of ground-and-pound until referee Ryogaku Wada stepped in to wave off the bout. “Satoshi,” who has finished all 10 of his professional victories inside the distance, was coming off a 75-second TKO loss to UFC veteran Johnny Case in the first round of the lightweight grand prix last October.
Yachi (21-10) has lost four of his last five professional outings.
In the co-main event, former Rizin and Invicta atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki (20-3) submitted Tomo Maesawa (13-11) with a kimura in a 115-pound clash. The end came at the 1:26 mark of Round 2, as the Tokyo native won for the sixth time in seven appearances under the Rizin banner.
Hamasaki dropped her opponent early in the first round and also threatened with an armbar near the end of the period. She took Maesawa to the canvas again in the second stanza and transitioned from an armbar to the fight-ending maneuver.
Elsewhere, atomweight contender Kanna Asakura (17-4) rolled past 19-year-old foe Mizuki Furuse (9-8), scoring a technical knockout 1:35 into the opening round of their featured bout. Asakura took Furuse down, transitioned to her foe’s back and rained down punches to force the stoppage. The former title challenger has won three straight since falling to Miyuu Yamamoto in June 2019.
In other action: UFC vet Naoki Inoue (14-2) submitted Shuto Watanabe (19-5-6) with a rear-naked choke 1:40 into the opening stanza at bantamweight; Tetsuya Seki (11-6-1) knocked out Kouya Kanda (4-3) 3:47 into the second frame of their featherweight clash; Kyohei Hagiwara (1-2) earned a TKO of Rikuto Shirakawa (7-7-1) 4:40 into Round 3 at featherweight and Kenji Kato (14-7) knocked out Erson Yamamoto (3-5) at the 3:32 mark of the first round in a bantamweight tilt.
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