Kai Asakura silenced those who claimed his meeting with Kyoji Horiguchi was nothing but a squash match by stopping the legendary Japanese bantamweight in a little over a minute into the main event of RIZIN 18 on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.
A piston right hand put Horiguchi down around 45-seconds into the contest. 15 seconds later he ate a flush knee that sent him reeling. The Japanese prospect followed the Bellator and RIZIN champion to the ground before the referee waved off his onslaught to end the non-title bout.
Speaking after the contest, the fan-favorite praised Horiguchi for taking the fight.
“He had nothing to gain and everything to lose,” said Asakura in his post-fight interview, who will likely face Horiguchi again with the title on the line in the future.
Despite establishing some dominant positions, Suwanan Boonsorn (AKA “Amp the Rocket”) was unable to claim a win in her RIZIN debut, and was instead submitted in the first round of the co-main event by atomweight champion, Ayaka Hamasaki.
Hamasaki showed great grit to remain in the fray after having her back taken and being subsequently mounted by the Thai fighter. “Amp the Rocket” was unable to escape the armbar once it was established in the dying embers of the opening round.
An experienced international campaigner, Victor Henry, took a second-round submission win over Trent Girdham with an inverted triangle choke to announce himself in the RIZIN ranks. Girdham gave the Josh Barnett protégé a lot to think about up until the stoppage, with both fighters suffering a couple of low blows during the bantamweight clash.
ビクター・ヘンリー×トレント・ガーダム＝決着シーン RT @VonPreux 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 …… pic.twitter.com/AhfuDcigKu
— MMA.vaobhr (@vaobhr) August 18, 2019
Manel Kape scored the biggest win of his career with a second round knockout of former UFC fighter Takeya Mizugaki. The loss leaves the Japanese fighter on a run of 2-3 since his UFC exit. Kape’s eigth career knockout is also his marked his fifth win under the RIZIN banner.
- Kai Asakura def. Kyoji Horiguchi via TKO (strikes) in R1
- Ayaka Hamasaki def. , Suwanan Boonsorn via submission (armbar) in R1
- Victor Henry def. Trent Girdham via submission (reverse triangle choke) in R2
- Manel Kape def. Takeya Mizugaki via KO (punch) in R2
- Haruo Ochi vs. Jarred Brooks no contest (due to cut suffered form accident headbutt)
- Hiroto Uesako def. Yves Landu via TKO (strikes) in R2
- Justin Scoggins def. Kazuma Sone via unanimous decision
- Takaki Soya def. Yutaro Muramoto via TKO (strikes) in R2
- Ai Shimizu def. Tabatha Ann Watkins via unanimous decision
- Danilo Zanolini def. John Wayne Parr via split decision
- Kazuki Osaki def. Takiya Shota via unanimous decision
- Ryuji Horio def. Uchu Sakurai via unanimous decision