Rizin’s year-end extravaganza hits the Internet early tomorrow morning (Tues., Dec. 31, 2019) with three title fights and the conclusion of its Lightweight Grand Prix in tow.
In the main event, 26-year-old phenom Kai Asakura looks to build off of his brutal upset of Kyoji Horiguchi against fellow knockout artist Manel Kape. The promotion’s top kickboxing attraction, Tenshin Nasukawa, helms the co-main against Rui Ebata, before which Ayaka Hamasaki attempts to defend her Super Atomweight title against old rival Seo Hee Ham. Earlier on the card, Patricky Pitbull, Luiz Gustavo, Johnny Case, and Tofiq Musaev make their bids for Lightweight dominance in the semifinals and, ultimately, finals of the Grand Prix.
“RIZIN 20” Quick Results:
Kai Asakura vs. Manel Kape — Kape def. Asakura by TKO (punches) at 0:38 of Round Two
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Rui Ebata — Nasukawa def. Ebata by TKO (three knockdowns) at 2:42 of Round One
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Seo Hee Ham — Ham def. Hamasaki by split decision
Mikuru Asakura vs. John Teixeira — Asakura def. Teixeira by unanimous decision
Lindsey Vanzandt vs. Rena Kubota — Kubota def. VanZandt by TKO (corner stoppage) at 4:42 of Round Three
Tofiq Musayev vs. Patricky Freire — Musayev def. Freire by unanimous decision
Jiri Prochazka vs. C.B. Dollaway — Prochazka def. Dollaway by KO (punch) at 1:05 of Round One
Vitaly Shemetov vs. Simon Biyong — Biyong def. Shemetov by TKO (submission to punches) at 0:58 of Round Two
Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Hiromasa Ogikubo — Ogikubo def. Ishiwatari by split decision
Jake Heun vs. Satoshi Ishii — Heun def. Ishii by TKO (punches) at 1:12 of Round One
Yuki Motoya vs. Patrick Mix — Mix def. Motoya by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:37 of Round One
Taiju Shiratori vs. TAIGA — Shiratori def. TAIGA by TKO (cut) at 3:00 of Round Two
Miyuu Yamamoto vs. Suwanan Boonsorn — Yamamoto def. Boonsorn by unanimous decision
Luiz Gustavo vs. Patricky Freire — Freire def. Gustavo by TKO (punches and soccer kick) at 0:28 of Round One
Johnny Case vs. Tofiq Musayev — Musayev def. Case by TKO (punches) at 2:47 of Round One
“RIZIN 20” Round-by-Round Coverage:
Rizin Bantamweight Championship: Kai Asakura vs. Manel Kape
Round one: Asakura looks for a head kick early. Body kick from Kape, low kick from Asakura. Kape shoots, denied a minute in. Kape with a pair of left hands that back Asakura off and they trade. Glancing head kick from Kape. Knee downstairs. Asakura digs a right to the body, then goes high with the same hand two minutes in. Kape tries a lead right. Asakura sending out his jab. Two minutes to go.
Body kick from Asakura. Kape with a body kick of his own and a right hand behind it. Hard punches inside by Kape, but Asakura comes back with a right. One minute to go. Combination by Asakura, low-high. Kape shoots in behind a combo, stuffed. Kape with a spinning back fist and flurry that connects. Kape in the lead.
Round two: 1-2s land for Asakura, but Kape floors him with a straight right in return. Kape looking to pound him out and, after a second knockdown, the ref’s seen enough.
Final result: Kape def. Asakura by TKO (punches)
Flyweight Kickboxing: Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Rui Ebata
Round one: Ebata low kick, Nasukawa tries to answer high. 1-2 lands for Nasukawa. Low kick. Nasukawa looking aggressive, both land well. Nasukawa body kick a minute in. Straight left. Ebata tries a head kick, eats a jab and body shot. Front kick knocks Ebata’s mouthpiece out and Nasukawa looks to swarm. 2-3 and down goes Ebata. He beats the count and they resume with a minute to go. Nasukaway unloading combinations. Huge right hook, body shot, another overhand left and he’s on the floor again. Again he beats the count. Nasukawa tries a tornado kick, continues to drill Ebata with straight lefts for the climactic third knockdown.
Final result: Nasukawa def. Ebata by TKO (three knockdowns)
Rizin Super Atomweight Championship: Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Seo Hee Ham
Round one: The two immediately go at it, trading jabs and straight lefts. Circling in the center. One minute in. Lots of handfighting. Straight left from Ham, hard rights from Hamasaki. They’re slugging. Two minutes in, back to a more sedate pace. Counter right from Hamasaki. Ham lands a hard 1-2. Two minutes to go.
Ham lands a left, eats jabs. Hamasaki doing a great job picking her off with jabs. Ham 1-2. One minute to go. Hamasaki lands a counter right. 1-2 form Ham. Low kick comes back at her. Ham left hand, met by a combo. Hamasaki with the edge.
Round two: Hamasaki switching stance. Body kick attempt. She catches a kick and looks to drop punches on Ham, only to land in a triangle. Ham looking to bring the arm across and pull the head down. It looks deep two minutes in. Elbows from Ham; Hamasaki seems out of immediate submission danger. Two minutes to go.
Hamasaki still defending, but still stuck. Hard elbows by Ham. One minute to go. Ham chipping away. Ham takes the lead.
Round three: Hamasaki jab, Ham left. Another hard left by Ham. Big shots from both women. Bigger shots by Hamasaki, but now she’s wobbled by a left and her nose is bleeding. Ham putting her in the corner. One minute in. Hamasaki reverses. Jockeying for position. Two minutes in. Hamasaki hits a head-and-arm throw to end up on top. Two minutes to go.
Short left hands landing for her. One minute to go. She goes for a soccer kick at the bell. Think Ham still edged it.
Final result: Ham def. Hamasaki by split decision
Featherweight: Mikuru Asakura vs. John Teixeira
Round one: Tentative start. One minute in. Teixeira body kick met with punches. Low kick lands. Asakura just misses with an overhand left. Counter left lands for him as they exchange. Both try head kicks. Two minutes in. Teixeira with a near-miss on a right cross, eats a body kick. 3-2 from the Brazilian. Two minutes to go.
Low kick from Teixeira. Asakura with a flying knee and 1-2 in return. More low kicks by Teixeira, targeting the calf. One minute to go. Asakura catches a kick, can’t use it. Asakura lands a body kick and glancing left. Low kick of his own. I have Teixeira ahead by a hair.
Round two: Teixeira tries a two-piece and head kick, answers a low kick with a front kick. He catches a kick and comes back with a low kick. One minute in. Asakura lands a jab, avoids a head kick and seems to clip Teixeira. Hard counter right by Asakura after catching a kick. He goes downstairs. Two minutes in. Body kick from Teixeira met by a straight left. Both swing big in the center. The two trade low kicks and big punches. Two minutes to go.
Teixeira shoots, denied. Another good exchange, Asakura follows up with a body kick and left hand. Big shots from Teixeira in return and they’re slugging. One minute to go. Right hand catches Teixeira off-balance. Step-in knee from Asakura. Teixeira tries a high kick, eats a counter left. Asakura now in the lead.
Round three: Teixeira tries an early takedown on an off-balance Asakura. He gets him down, can’t keep him there. He forces Asakura to his knees, again can’t establish. One minute in. Asakura separates. Low kicks from both. Hard two-piece by Asakura, then a counter 1-2 that lands clean. Two minutes in. Low kick from Teixeira. Asakura low kick. He answers a low kick with a 1-2. Two minutes to go.
Another counter left form Asakura, who really seems to have found the range. Another counter left. Teixeira shoots in response, can’t keep him there. They separate with a minute to go. Quick exchange. Teixeira going back to the kicks. Good knee and straight left by Asakura. Teixeira still targeting the lead leg. Heavy counters by Asakura. Think he pulled away in the latter half.
Final result: Asakura def. Teixeira by unanimous decision
Catchweight: Lindsey Van Zandt vs. Rena Kubota
Round one: VanZandt opens with a flying knee attempt. They trade rights. Low kick from VanZandt. Kubota counters a low kick with a right, eats one in return. VanZandt shoots, puts her on her back in guard a minute in. Short punches from the American. Two minutes in. Staying busy as Kubota just tries to hold her.Two minutes to go.
VanZandt with some nice hammerfists, avoids an armbar and passes to half guard. Kubota sweeps into side control. Knees to the head. VanZandt regains half guard and Kubota lets her stand. Body kick from VanZandt, shoots and gets sprawled on. VanZandt in the lead.
Round two: Kubota lands a heavy combination against the ropes. Low-high 2-3. Another hard combination. Mixing things up to the head and body. They trade in the corner a minute in. Kubota with a combo. VanZandt low kick, caught while shooting and sprawled on. Knee from the front headlock by Kubota two minutes in. VanZandt dropped by a counter left hook, looks to pull guard but Kubota doesn’t oblige. VanZandt tries another guard pull. Tow minutes to go.
Low kicks from VanZandt. Now Kubota shoots, only for VanZandt to latch onto her back. She transitions to an armbar. One minute to go. VanZandt transitions to a triangle. Looks deep. Elbows land for her and she goes for an armbar. Kubota saved by the bell. VanZandt still ahead.
Round three: VanZandt tries an early takedown, ends up on the bottom in side control. One minute in. Kubota looking for an americana. Now to north-south. VanZandt landing knees off of her back. Now a kimura attempt for Kubota, nothing doing two minutes in. VanZandt scrambles up, shoots, again stuck on the bottom in side control. North-south and she hammerfists the body before going to the front headlock. 90 seconds to go.
Kubota lands a right after letting VanZandt up. VanZandt shoots again, fights off an RNC and is nearly mounted. One minute to go. Kubota lands some hammerfists. Now she postures up for punches until VanZandt’s corner calls it.
Final result: VanZandt def. Kubota by TKO (corner stoppage)
Lightweight Grand Prix Final: Tofiq Musayev vs. Patricky Freire
Round one: Tentative start to the fight. Freire fires a 1-2. One minute in. Hard 3-2. Stiff jab connects as Musayev tries to throw back. Two minutes in. Low kick lands for Freire as Musayev throws a body kick. Freire leg kick, tries to flurry. Good exchange in the center with two minutes to go.
Musayev catches him with a right hand inside. Nice left hook and he’s stung Freire, but Freire smashes him as they trade with an overhand right that has the Azerbaijani shooting. Freire muscles him down into guard. Hard soccer kick by Freire as Musayev scrambles up but he ends up on the bottom, eating GnP. Freire in the lead.
Round two: Back to the slow pace. Musayev catches a body kick and throws Freire to the mat. Freire pops back up and separates, eating a left as he does a minute in. Counter right from Freire lands clean and Musayev ducks a left hook for a takedown that ultimately sends Freire through the ropes. Freire appears to have dinged his shoulder, but seems fit to continue two minutes in. Freire tries a lead right and jumping knee. Musayev with another shot, walks into another jump knee. They trade. Two minutes to go.
Musayev catches a kick for another takedown, dropping punches, Freire back up, back down. He can’t make it back to his feet as Musayev chips away. Freire stands before the bell. Musayev has the momentum.
Round three: Another slow start to the round. Now Musayev with a heavy combination and Freire lands a left hook in return. Musayev catches another body kick for a takdeown. One minute in. They separate. Musayev body kick met by a left hook. Two minutes in. Hard left from Musayev, can’t get the single-leg. Straight right connects. Musayev suddenly hurts him with a flurry in the center and here he comes. He follows Freire down, dropping big shots. Two minutes to go.
Freire survives and closes his guard. Musayev stands and Freira dows the same. Freire tries to spin with a minute to go and Musayev flurries in return. Freire still going for it. Freire shoots, grabs the body lock. Fight ends there. Musayev should take it.
Final result: Musayev def. Freire by unanimous decision
Rizin Light Heavyweight Championship: Jiri Prochazka vs. C.B. Dollaway
Round one: Dollaway opens with leg kicks. Prochazka doesn’t seem inclined to check them. One minute in. Check hook by Holloway. Prochazka catches the leg leg kick, can’t keep him down. Trading punches, another leg kick dings Prochazka. As Prochazka pursues, he follows up an uppercut with a left hook that puts Dollaway to sleep.
Final result: Prochazka def. Dollaway by KO (punch)
Light Heavyweight: Vitaly Shemetov vs. Simon Biyong
Round one: Shemetov counters a low kick with a right hand, tries a jumping knee and slips. Combination on the ropes. Spinning back kick connects. Shemetov looking sharp early. Biyong with a leg kick. One minute in. Biyong ducks a right hand for a takedown attempt. Shemetov lands a knee as he’s taken down into half guard. Shemetov regains guard two minutes in and locks up a lovely-looking armbar. Biyong defending, gets his elbow clear. He’s throwing knees to the body as he defends. Now to the head before regaining top position. Two minutes to go.
BIyong passes to half guard, lands some short shots. Hard knee to the head. One minute to go. Back to guard, some decent shots while postured. Heavy punches bust Shemetov open. Comfortable lead for Biyong.
Round two: Biyong goes for an early takedown and Shemetov’s ill-advised knee ends up putting him on his back. Biyong dropping some heavy punches from mount. Shemetov taps to strikes; his face is a mess.
Final result: Biyong def. Shemetov by TKO (submission to strikes)
Bantamweight: Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Hiromasa Ogikubo
Round one: Ishiwatari opens with some hard inside low kicks. Left to the body, met by low kicks from Ogikubo. Ogikubo catches a kick, lands a counter right, and takes him down. One minute in. Ishiwatari with wrist control, keeping Ogikubo from posturing. Ishiwatari scrambles up, eats some hard shots, and denies another takedown. Good knees in the clinch, hurt by a left hook on the break. Ogikubo opens up with some big shots in the corner. Ishiwatari gets space, lands some lefts. Good straight catches Ogikubo. Two minutes to go.
More lefts from Ishiwatari. Ogikubo tries to rush in, popped by a left. They slug it out on the ropes. Ishiwatari head kick just misses. One minute to go. Ogikubo low kicks. Ishiwatari with a 1-2, eats another low kick. More low kicks, another straight left. Another. Another knocks Ogikubo back. Ishiwatari slightly ahead.
Round two: Back to the low kick/straight left trades. Overhand right by Ogikubo. Another. He slips throwing a head kick. Left hand by Ishiwatari. One minute in. They trade in the center. Ogikubo ties up in the corner, tries to spin on the break. They trade inside. Ishiwatari with a head kick to straight left, eats a body shot. Two minutes in. More straights lefts from Ishiwatari. Ogikubo snaps his head around with a left hook. Ishiwatari straight lefts. continue to land. Two minutes to go.
Clash of heads near the corner, ref tells them to continue. Ogikubo fires an overhand right and shoots in behind it, taking Ishiwatari down in the corner. Ishiwatari looking for the switch, gets back to his feet and eats a right hand. Knee attempt, eats a low kick. One minute to go. Big left hook from Ogikubo on the break. Ishiwatari looks for his own takedown, denied. Ogikubo lands a right on the break, eats more lefts. Nice combo by Ogikubo into the body lock. Ishiwatari tries a throw in return. This is basically dead even.
Round three: Ogikubo lands a nice body shot and presses forward, looking for a takedown. Denied, lands a good punch, goes for another takedown. Ishiwatari avoids it, but eats a soccer kick in the process. Ogikubo jumps on his back, but loses position and ends up on the bottom in guard. One minute in. Ishiwatari passes to half guard. Ogikubo kicks his way to his feet and marches after Ishiwatari, throwing heat. Spinning back fist lands for him and they trade bombs. They’re going for it. Ogikubo seemingly getting the better of it as both sit down on big shots. Now Ishiwatari with a heavy flurry. Two minutes to go.
Ogikubo looks like he punched himself out but they’re still going. Big overhands. Ishiwatari with his own shots. Body shot seems to sting Ogikubo, still bombing away. They’re both tired. One minute to go. Ogikubo to the body, eats a straight left. More phone booth slugging. Ishiwatari hits a takedown and passes to half guard, can’t keep him down. Ogikubo marches after him and they both land huge shots. I have Ogikubo by a hair in a terrific fight.
Final result: Ogikubo def. Ishiwatari by split decision
Heavyweight: Jake Heun vs. Satoshi Ishii
Round one: Heun on the front foot to start. Body kick lands for him. Ishii comes back with a low kick and shoots, transitioning to a rear waist lock. Heun granby rolls free. One minute in. Throwing hard, lands a good uppercut. Another uppercut and another and down goes Ishii. A few more hammerfists and it’s over.
Final result: Heun def. Ishii by TKO (punches)
Bantamweight: Yuki Motoya vs. Patrick Mix
Round one: Mix shoots in for a takedown at the 10-second mark, lands in side control. Motoya scrambles up and hunts his own takedown, denied by an apparent rope grab and Mix ends up on top again. Motoya immediately looks for an armbar, then tries an omoplata and converts it into a takedown attempt a minute in. Mix wraps up a guillotine in the process, forcing the tap.
Final result: Mix def. Motoya by submission (guillotine choke)
Bantamweight kickboxing: Taiju Shiratori vs. TAIGA
Round one: They start the fight landing low kicks. Shiratori looks for counters. One minute in. Shiratori body kick, lands a leg kick after scooting out of range of one from TAIGA. Shiratori 3-2 bounces off the guard. One minute to go. Low leg kick trips Shiratori up for a second. TAIGA to the body. Shiratori fires a combination. Switchign stance. Another TAIGA low kick. 10-9 TAIGA.
Round two: Shiratori tries a head kick as TAIGA continues to target the lead leg. Shiratori combo falls short. TAIGA to the body. Shiratori lands a hard combo a minute in, including a knee downstairs. Now he’s pressing the issue. Counter right by Shiratori before they clinch. Good trade inside with a minute to go. They clinch, knee from Shiratori. Another boxing combo knocks TAIGA back. Huge knee in the clinch. They end the round slugging. 10-9 Shiratori.
TAIGA is sporting a gigantic cut over his left eye from that last knee. It’s over.
Final result: Shiratori def. TAIGA by TKO (cut)
Super Atomweight: Miyuu Yamamoto vs. Suwanan Boonsorn
Round one: Boonsorn opens with inside leg kicks on the southpaw Yamamoto. They trade rights a minute in. Another good low kick from Boonsorn. Boonsorn tries a head kick, exits with a body kick. Yamamoto grabs a body lock against the ropes, transitions to a knee tap for a takedown into guard. Short punches from Yamamoto. Two minutes to go.
Boonsorn with wrist control, still taking punches. Ref stands them up with a minute to go. Leg kick from Boonsorn. Good right hand. Body kick connects. Yamamoto in the lead.
Round two: Yamamoto steps in for a quick takedown in the opening seconds. Hammerfists landing. Full guard. Boonsorn threatens an armbar, returns to her feet. Low kick from Boonsorn met by a flurry from Yamamoto, who ties up in the corner. Two minutes in. Yamamoto muscles her down into half guard, quickly returned to guard. Two minutes to go.
Now some heavier punches from Yamamoto with a minute to go. Boonsorn looks for an armbar and again stands afterwards. Yamamoto well ahead.
Round three: Teep and low kicks from Boonsorn. Yamamoto ducks a right hand for another takedown into guard, lands some solid punches. One minute in. Boonsorn turns for an armbar, which Yamamoto uses to pass to side control. Yamamoto gets her in the crucifix and lands some more punches. Looking for knees to the head. Two minutes in. Boonsorn regains guard. More short punches by Yamamoto. Two minutes to go.
Yamamoto postures up for some bigger shots, allows Boonsorn back to her feet. Boonsorn fires a right, hurled to the ground in return. One minute to go. Knees to the head from side control. Now to the body. Yamamoto spins for an armbar in the waning seconds, runs out of time. Dominant performance by the 45-year-old.
Final result: Yamamoto def. Boonsorn by unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinal: Luiz Gustavo vs. Patricky Freire
Round one: Freire throwing hard early. Big straight right drops Gustavo in the opening minute; he pops up under fire, only to get blasted by more overhands in the corner. He falls and Freire soccer kicks him in the face to send the ref into action.
Final result: Freire def. Gustavo by TKO (punches and soccer kick)
Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinal: Johnny Case vs. Tofiq Musayev
Round one: Case throwing kicks in the early going. Counter right from Musayev. Another counter after taking a low kick. One minute in. More kicks from Case. He lands a jab, avoids counters. Musayev just misses with a right hand, firing combinations when Case steps in. Two minutes in. Switch left by Case, but Musayev clips him with a massive overhand right and tries to capitalize as Case stumbles back. Case hits a high-amplitude takedown in return, but Musayev escapes, rocks him again with a jab, and pounds him out in the corner.
Final result: Musayev def. Case by TKO (punches)