Invicta matchmaker Kaitlin Young outclassed highly touted prospect King Reina at Rizin 12 on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.
Young hadn’t competed in MMA since her 2014 loss to Raquel Pa’aluhi at Invicta FC 9. Two years after taking up a role on the promotion’s matchmaking team, “The Striking Viking,” used a mixture of straight punches and chopping leg kicks that completely nullified Reina in the standing exchanges.
Reina threatened with numerous rear-naked choke attempts after taking Young down towards the end of the second round. She wasted no time in trying to take her down at the beginning of the third round. With 90 seconds left on the clock, she completed a takedown, but couldn’t secure a rear-naked choke.
The judges on site unanimously agreed that Young had done enough to earn a victory over the popular up-and-comer.
The Brazilian newcomer shot out of the traps in the first round and didn’t allow his veteran opponent to get comfortable as he threw powerful shots in his direction. It looked as though Yachi had taken back control of the fight after scoring a takedown in the second round, but when they returned the feet his sustained a cut over his right eye from an errant Brazilian hand.
Sensing some urgency after sustaining the cut, Yachi marched Gustavo down when the fight resumed. However, the Brazilian didn’t back down from the challenge and separated the fan favorite from his senses with a right hand.
Gustavo improved to 9-0 with the win.
In the co-main event, Yuki Motoya finished Kazuma Sone with a second-round rear naked choke after threatening with several chokeholds over the first five minutes.
Sone survived two guillotines in the opening round, even launching his body through the ropes of the ring to escape the second chokehold. His relative grappling inexperience showed itself in the finishing sequence, as he appeared to turn into the choke as he looked to escape.
Former UFC fighter, Kiichi Kunimoto, rendered Ryuichiro Sumimura unconscious with a first-round arm triangle in their welterweight clash. Kunimoto locked in the head and arm in the dying embers of the round from his guard before transitioning to top position.
Mikuru Asakura took the biggest win of his young career when he scored a tremendous first-round head kick knockout over UFC veteran Hatsu Hioki.
Kiyoshi Kuwabara’s decision to change his ring name to “Samurai Mark Hunt” proved to be one of the quirkiest tidbits in the lead up to RIZIN 12. While he definitely embodied the K-1 legend’s grit as he waded into the exchanges, he didn’t showcase the same clinical striking as the referee put a stop to Roque Martinez’s onslaught in the first round.
At the midway point of the event, Wanderlei Silva made a grand entrance and announced his intention to fight on a Rizin card in the future.
Japanese kickboxing star, Tenshin Nasukawa, received four callouts from five kickboxing bouts on the night. During the event, he announced that his next fight would take place at Rizin 13 on Sept. 30.
Luiz Gustavo def. Yusuke Yachi via KO (punch) in R2
Yuki Motoya def. Kazuma Sone via submission (rear-naked choke) in R2
Kiichi Kunimoto def. Ryuichiro Sumimura via submission (arm-triangle) in R1
Kaitlin Young def. King Reina via unanimous decision
Mikuru Asakura def. Hatsu Hioko via KO (left head kick) in R1
Roque Martinez def. Kiyoshi Kuwabara via TKO (strikes) in R1
Kanako Murata def. Angela Magana via submission (Von-Flue choke) at 3:50 of R2
Taiki Naito def. Hannya Hashimoto via TKO (leg kicks) in R2
Kaito Ono def. Sho Ogawa via unanimous decision
Ryuki def. Naoya via unanimous decision
Shintaro Matsukura def. Takahiro Okuyama KO in R2
Takiya Shota def. Syuto Sato via unanimous decision