Mikura Asakura’s final shot of the night underlined his dominance in his main event meeting with rival Yusuke Yachi at RIZIN FF 17 at the Saitama Super Arena on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan.
The pairing had promised violence from the second the fight was announced, but the fireworks only went off in the final exchanges when Yachi was forced to look for something big after chasing much of the fight.
Seconds before the final bell sounded, Asakura clipped Yache behind the ear with a left hand, sending him to the canvas.
Although Asakura did the better in the striking exchanges, landing piercing shots to Yachi’s body and head, he used the ropes on three occasions to keep himself vertical as Yachi attempted to take him to the canvas.
Speaking after the one-sided victory, Asakura declared interest in competing on an upcoming Bellator card.
In the co-main event, former bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari scored a spectacular win over UFC veteran Ulka Sasaki. A series of knees to the head began Sasaki’s descent to defeat. Ishiwatari connected with multiple knees before turning Sasaki to his back and finishing with a deft north-south choke.
Shooto champion Hiromasa Ogikubo took a win over former Deep two-weight champion Yuki Motoya after a memorable 15 minutes.
By the time the final bell sounded, Motoya had regained the momentum of the clash after early trouble. He finished the fight strongly, landing multiple combinations and challenging with submissions when the fight hit the ground. Yet, the judges thought Ogikubo did enough to secure the win.
Shooto triumphs over DEEP in a classic clash of two-division champs, as Hiromasa Ogikubo (19-4-2) ekes out a decision over Yuki Motoya! As readily as Hiro swarmed Yuki on the mat, the latter roared back with barbaric battalions of punches! What a war! #RIZIN17 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/Aja560XLxA— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) July 28, 2019
Winning bantamweights Ishiwateri and Ogikubo will both be keen to book rematches with reigning Bellator and RIZIN champion, Kyogi Horiguchi, on the back of their victories. Speaking after his win, Ishiwateri — who suffered a knockout loss to Horiguchi in 2017 — insisted that he was far superior that any other of the bantamweight challengers.
Johnny Case (26-6-1) claims his spot in the lightweight GP, dummying Satoru Kitaoka with elbows and punches en route to the legend's corner throwing in the towel. Case has won five straight and stopped 22 overall, 18 by knockout, and 15 in round one. #RIZIN17 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/fMQYX3JoUY— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) July 28, 2019
Case forced Satoru Kitaoka to call a stop the action after he ate numerous elbows and punches from the bottom in R1. Japanese legend Kawajiri grinded his way to victory over previously undefeated Ali Abdulkhalikov and jiu-jitsu ace de Souza showcased his striking prowess again with a first round knockout.
- Mikura Asakura def. Yusuke Yachi via unanimous decision
- Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Ulka Sasaki via submission (north-south choke) in R2
- Hiromasa Ogikubo def. Yuki Motoya via majority decision
- Ivan Shtyrkov def. Hoon Kim via TKO (strikes) in R2
- Taiga Kawabe def. Hikaru Machida via unanimous decision [Kickboxing bout]
- Johnny Case def. Satoru Kitaoka via TKO (corner stoppage) at R1
- Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Ali Abdulkhalikov via unanimous decision
- Roberto de Souza def. Mizuto Hirota via TKO (strikes) in R1
- Jake Heun def. Vitaly Shemetov via TKO (cut) in R3
- Seo Hee Ham def. Tomo Maesawa via TKO (knees) in R1
- Stephanie Egger def. Reina Miura via unanimous decision
- Hideki def. Daiki Watabe via majority decision [Kickboxing bout]