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RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 results from Japan (Day 2): Horiguchi wins Bantamweight tournament, Cro Cop bulldozes Kohsaka

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Horiguchi vs Bagautinov Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Rizin’s NYE spectacular concluded this morning with another card full of finishes.

Kyoji Horiguchi survived a hard headbutt to choke out the game Manel Kape in the night’s opening fight to set up a main event clash against Shintaro Ishiwatari, who won a donnybrook against Takafumi Otsuka one fight later. Horiguchi had stopped Ishiwatari in his final pre-UFC bout and did the same here.

Horiguchi — sporting some eye damage from his fight with Kape — caught a knee midway through the first and used it to take down Ishiwatari. He worked his way to mount and landed some brutal punches, but Ishiwatari was game enough to work his way up and make it through the bell.

It didn’t do him much good, though, as Horiguchi obliterated him with a counter right early in the second to win the Rizin belt.

Why the hell did they cut this guy?

In addition to the conclusion of the Bantamweight tournament, the show featured two one-night tournaments. Shootboxing great and tournament favorite Rena Kubota demolished Irene Rivera in the quarterfinals, but it was Kanna Asakura who came out on top in the final, choking “RENA” unconscious in the first round.

Superstar Tenshin Nasukawa took home the gold in the kickboxing bracket, leveling Yuta Hamamoto with a flying knee before dropping Yamato Fujita three times in 90 seconds in the final. At 19, he’s one of the greatest prospects in all of combat sports. He’s incredible.

The night’s big freakshow fight went exactly as expected, as Mirko Cro Cop bulldozed Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in little more than one minute. The Croatian legend dropped Kohsaka with punches against the ropes and tore into him with hammerfists until “TK’s” corner threw in the towel.

In the first post-intermission fight, Shinju Nozawa-Auclair fought her way out of a tight triangle to submit Chelsea Lagrasse with a modified armbar. They had previously fought as amateurs, with Lagrasse winning that one by disqualification. This time around, Lagrasse found early success with a guard pull, but ultimately succumbed to the armbar.

The first non-tournament bout of the morning saw Takanori Gomi’s skid continue in heartbreaking fashion. He and Yusuke Yachi came out trading insane amounts of leather until Gomi drilled him with enough right hands to the body to take top position. Gomi did decent work from top position, but Yachi tossed up a triangle that “The Fireball Kid” seemed weirdly disinclined to defend. He basically let Yachi cinch it tighter and tighter before tapping.

RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 Quick Results:

Kyoji Horiguchi def. Shintaro Ishiwatari by KO (punches) in Round Two
Kanna Asakura def. Rena Kubota by submission (rear naked choke) in Round One
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Yamato Fujita by TKO (strikes) in Round One
Mirko Filipovic def. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka by TKO (punches) in Round One
Shinju Nozawa-Auclair def. Chelsea Lagrasse by submission (armbar) in Round One
Yusuke Yachi def. Takanori Gomi by submission (triangle choke) in Round One
Kanna Asakura def. Maria Oliveira by submission (armbar) in Round Two
Rena Kubota def. Irene Rivera by TKO (punches) in Round One
Yamato Fujita def. Mitsuhisa Sunabe by TKO (punches) in Round Three
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Yuta Hamamoto by KO (flying knee) in Round Two
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Takafumi Otsuka by unanimous decision
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Manel Kape by submission (arm triangle choke) in Round Three

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