We are back to the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, for another dose of Rizin Fighting Federation wackiness. This time around, I watched the Spike TV feed since that was way easier to get by just DVR’ing the show and watching when I got home. The Spike broadcast was an edited version of night 2 of the Rizin show from New Year’s Eve. Missing, unfortunately, were the silly things I loved about the Russian broadcast, but on the plus side, it was much more compact in terms of running time vs actual action. Also missing, as a side effect of broadcast running time, some fights did not make the cut, the first fight being one of them.
Rena Kubota vs Jleana Valentino (NOT ON TV)
Winner: Kubota (by Flying Armbar Submission at 3:31 of round 2)
Theodoras Aukstuolis vs King Mo
King Mo tried for an early leg takedown, but Aukstolis was able to grab on to ropes to keep from being taken down. Aukstolis brought his Judo background. Mo was able to stay just outside of range and counter Aukstolis’ punches. Mo threw punches in an orthodox style but would keep dropping his hands. This happened over and over in the fight. Mo also tends to clown way too often which has been a major complaint of mine with him as a fighter. Even with his flaws stylistically, he was still able to be just a bit quicker most times and charge forward with a little more authority, though as round 1 drew to a close, Aukstolis started to figure out his timing a bit more.
Round 2 saw Mo getting Aukstolis to the ground and smothering him for most of the round and going from full/half to side control. Finally he was just too much for Aukstolis as he started wailing shots until the bell.
Winner: King Mo (by Unanimous Decision)
Jiri Prochazka vs Vadim Nemkov
The announcers said that this was Nemkov’s 5th fight of the tournament, but he still managed to pound Prochazka early on. At 23, Nemkov was looking spry but made a mistake and got caught by Prochazk. Prochazka was able to his get hooks in despite Nemkov trying to defend. Hooks out, Nemkov escapes.
At this stage they were standing and Nemkov started to take control since they were on their feet again. Nemkov utilized an outside trip to get a full mount on Prochazka. Round 1 ended with Prochazka taking control of Nemkov trying to sink in a guillotine choke, but he lost his hook. Nemkov was able to get a north/south on Prochazka before they stood to finish the last 20 seconds or so of the round swinging and the bell rang.
When we came back from the break, Nemkov was unable to get up, so Prochazka is declared the winner and he moved on to the finals of the tourney. We are informed that Nemkov has announced his retirement.
Winner: Prochazka (by Retirement at the end of round 1.)
Brennan Ward vs Ken Hasegwa
The announcers mention that Ward has up to this point been a Mohegan Sun exclusive. Bwahaha. They also mention that by fighting tonight he is potentially risking a “world title shot”? A shot at what world title? Does the Mohegan Sun have its own world title that I’m unaware of?
There were lots of ground and standing mixed in the first round. Nothing of real note, but you could see Ward making the skill differential apparent early on. HUGE rights from Ward crumbled Hasegawa with about a minute left in the round. Ward tried to get Hasegawa in a guillotine, but Hasegawa flipped him over and turned it in his favor.
Round 2 had Ward using strength to ragdoll and roll Hasegawa. Just dominated him. He also kicked Hasegawa in the head, which was legal with shoes according to rules. Ward flattened Hasegawa out onto his stomach and into a rear naked choke. After he was flattened out, Hasegawa blacked out what seemed like immediately.
Winner: Ward (by Rear Naked Choke Submission at 1:52 of round 2)
Soo Chul Kim vs Maike Linhares Galvao Amorim (NOT ON TV)
Winner: Soo Chul Kim (by Unanimous Decision)
Takeru Segawa vs Yang Ming (NOT ON TV)
Winner: Segawa (by TKO at 3:00 of round two)
Gabi Garcia vs Lei’d Tapa
Garcia came into this fight with significantly more experience than Tapa. Surprisingly, Tapa was not nearly as eclipsed in size as I expected her to be, though there was an obvious size discrepancy between the two. You could tell early on that Tapa knew how to defend herself as well as throw offense out there. Tapa QUICKLY slipped Garcia’s punches and knocked her to the ground. Garcia looked surprised as Tapa went for a leg. Gabi was able to get up, but when she did all she did was throw a bunch of punches in a bunch, none of them with any consideration behind them, as if she was scared and just trying to keep Tapa out of arm’s reach instead of doing any damage of her own.
Tapa told Gabi “come here” to draw her into range. Gabi got a couple of punches off, but most were sloppy and Tapa did more with less activity. Gabi started lighting Tapa UP, like really lighting her up, but Tapa was able to withstand the barrage. A backfist by Garcia brought Tapa crumbling to the ground and Garcia pounded until she was out. I would say in the end that this was a pretty admirable showing for someone with no experience who only holds a blue belt vs Gabi’s black belt. I was very impressed with Tapa’s first outing, but on the flip-side saw a ton of holes in Gabi’s defense, only bringing her obvious power to the party.
Winner: Garcia (by KO at 2:36 of round 1)
Akebono vs Bob Sapp
Shoot boxing rules; Not on T V but I managed to track it down.
Ake started off bulldozing Sapp to wear him down early. Sapp smartly kept distance. Akebono started getting closer. Sapp was able to get in a couple good shots to the head during tie ups. Akebono started bleeding from… maybe a hole in his god damn head (?!?) after a giant punch from Sapp. Sapp threw in a few gut shots to Akebono. Knees from Akebono to Sapp. Sapp was punching hard while being pinned by Akebono against the corner. Akebono’s damn drawers fell down and the ref had to pull them up for him. Ake’s head began gushing again. Still not sure WTF is going on here. They finally show a replay close-up, and there was a weird lumpy mound of scar tissue or a mole cluster or something that was ripped from the shot.
Seriously, WTF is that thing? Akebono’s weird growth thing on his head.
Either way, this caused a massive delay in the fight and an opportunity for Akebono to gain his breath back. Knowing Sapp, this may have been a blessing for him as well with his no cardio having ass, since he came back throwing BOMBS at the end of the round before the bell broke things up. The ref threw a red card on Sapp for hitting behind Ake’s damn head and Ake got yet another timeout. Sapp was getting pissed to hell by this point and looked to his corner to do something. Discussion continued and the fight was delayed even further. By this point, the more they treat Ake’s head, it seems the more blood runs down his body.
FINALLY they let the fight continue, but not for long. After Akebono pushed Sapp into the corner, he turned his head in a way that Sapp couldn’t get any legal punches off to his head and Bob looked to the ref and fired off a series of rights that of course land to the back of Ake’s head and opened the cuts AGAIN! This fight is a dumpster fire by this point. An announcer comes into the ring and says what I can only assume was “Screw you audience, this is what you are getting because this fat fuck can’t stop bleeding all over himself.” They then went to the cards and Sapp was ruled the victor. In the end, we all lost on that fight. Right before the ref raised Sapp’s arms, he was heard saying “We can do it again, but man, we gotta shave your hair.” to Akebono. I’m good with not ever seeing this again personally.
Winner: Bob Sapp (by Technical Decision at 0:49 of round 2; but we all lose)
Baruto Kaito vs Peter Aerts (NOT ON TV)
Winner: Kaito (by Unanimous Decision)
Yuichiro Nagashima vs Andy Souwer
Before I start, can we just mention the snappy outfit that Nagashima was wearing in his promo shot? OK. With this fight, Souwer made his pro MMA debut and he looked good. Nagashima came in with a frenetic style, moving more, but Souwer looked crisper. The fight only took about a minute to get to the ground and Souwer revealed weakness in his ground game. Nagashima tried a standing axe kick to Souwer and Souwer jumped up, twisting the leg on the way up to get Nagashima off balance. Souwer started BOMBING Nagashima, got him to the ground again and started raining knees to his sides. Nagashima tried to keep Souwer’s leg so he couldn’t sweep him. Nagashima’s tooth was then knocked out of his damn mouth by Souwer! Nagashima just spat it out on the canvas and moved on with his life. Not a fun day at the office. Souwer just pounded the living fuck out of Nagashima when he got to his feet and Nagashima went down like a sack of potatoes.
Winner: Souwer (by TKO at 5:28 of round 1)
Asen Yamamoto vs Kron Gracie
This fight was hyped up as a family feud, as Asen’s uncle is Kid Yamamoto, while Kron is Rickson Gracie’s son. The fight started off with Kron throwing short punches to Yamamoto’s face and Yamamoto was obviously not a fan. Gracie hit a flying armbar, which appeared to be sunken in well and it looked like there was no way Yamamoto could get out, but he proved he definitely came from a strong family lineage and slipped out, still in Kron’s guard. Asen finally jumped up to make sure he didn’t immediately get caught in the same predicament.
Next, there was an outside trip to side control by Kron, who slid into full mount. Again, Yamamoto was able to escape, but Gracie was able to keep his arm in the exchange this time. Gracie had a triangle, but Yamamoto picked him up with the lock on and slammed him on his back. Kron did not let go, so Yamamoto thought better of trying to fight the inevitable any longer and tapped. Yamamoto walked off crying with a towel covering his face as a callback to WK9 with Okada vs Tanahashi.
Winner: Gracie (by Triangle Submisison at 4:58 of round 1)
Fedor Emelianenko vs Jaideep Singh
Fedor came to the ring draped in a WCW replica belt that had been presented to him earlier by Hiroshi Hase, who was present at the event. This promotion keeps winning. Fedor’s opponent, Jaideep Singh, may be a virtual unknown to the western world, but he is a big draw as I understand internationally. This may be sarcastic, but I can’t seem to find any concrete evidence either way. This big tomato can was here to make Fedor look good, let’s just remember that, OK? With an obvious lopsided size discrepancy, an aging Fedor will look valiant against a much younger, larger and maybe better looking man. Fedor was able to get Singh to the ground after not much effort at all in about 90 seconds, then he tied up Singh’s arm to start firing and you can tell Singh already realized he may be in for more of a fight than he was prepared him for. Since he was lacking in the skills department, Fedor was able to quickly and effortlessly take out Singh and hopefully somewhere in Russia a naked Vladimir Putin was rubbing coconut sun tan lotion all over his glistening body.
Winner: Fedor (by Submission due to tap out from punches at 3:02 of round 1)
King Mo vs Jiri Prochazka (Tourney Final)
Mo looked determined and you could tell he felt he had something to prove after not being able to compete. Mo kept Prochazka down for much of the first round. Prochazka sprang up like he was going to destroy Mo, leaving himself exposed and WOW! Did Mo ever take advantage of it. Classic example of duck your chin and keep it protected. Bip. Lights out.
Winner: King Mo (by KO at 5:09 of round 1)
All in all, I really had a good time watching these shows and I can’t wait for the next event in April. Look for more coverage then on Wrestling With Words.