Mixed martial arts returned to the historic Tokyo Dome for the first time in almost 20 years with RIZIN 28 on Sunday, and it featured the coronation of Roberto Satoshi in Japan.
The inaugural lightweight belt was on the line between the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and 155-pound tournament winner Tofiq Musayev, and it didn’t last long. Musayev was able to stop Satoshi’s first takedown attempt, but the Brazilian just wouldn’t give up on the second one. Despite ending on bottom, Satoshi was quick to lock a triangle choke and force Musayev to tap.
Satoshi’s teammate Kleber Koike closed the show in a featherweight showdown with Mikuru Asakura in the main event, and also won with a triangle choke. Koike, a former KSW champion, jumped guard multiple times during the bout before and after getting rocked on the feet, but the finish only came in the second stanza.
Koike landed a series of elbows in the clinch before pulling guard and screaming “I’ll catch it! It’s over! I didn't come to play! Go out! He slept!” as soon as he locked the triangle in, choking Asakura unconscious.
Nasukawa took on Osaki first and they traded bombs for three minutes but no one got rocked. Kawabe entered the ring after a short break and both picked their shots more patiently, with Kawabe clearly looking for a one-punch knockout, but Nasukawa was too fast for him. Tenshin knocked Kawabe down with an uppercut followed by a body shot in the final seconds or the round, but couldn’t get the finish.
Tokoro stepped in for the final round and brought back a faster pace, throwing and missing with spinning back fists. Nasukawa picked Tokoro apart and hurt the longtime MMA veteran with precise punches, but somehow Tokoro survived. No official result was announced.
In his post-fight interview, Nasukawa announced he will return to RIZIN later this year for his final kickboxing match before he makes a transition to boxing. The 22-year-old Japanese star currently holds a 39-0 record in kickboxing and 4-0 in MMA. He was paired up against Floyd Mayweather for an exhibition bout in RIZIN in December 2018, but lost by knockout.
Yutaka Saito, the RIZIN featherweight champion, fought in the early portion of the card in a non-title bout versus Vugar Karamov, winning a split decision.
RIZIN 28 also featured half of the opening round of the 16-man RIZIN bantamweight grand prix. Former 135-pound champion Kai Asakura and Naoki Inoue and advanced with quick finishes over Shooto Watanabe and Shintaro Ishiwatari.
Hiromasa Ougikubo and Yuki Motoya also moved on in the tournament with decision victories over Takeshi Kasugai and Ryo Okada, respectively.
Check the complete RIZIN 28 results below.
Kleber Koike def. Mikuru Asakura via submission (triangle choke) - Round 2, 1:49
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Koki Osaki, Hiroya Kawabe, and Hideo Tokoro — no official result announced
Roberto Satoshi def. Tofiq Musayev via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:12
Kai Asakura def. Shooto Watanabe via TKO - Round 1, 3:22 [bantamweight GP opening round]
Naoki Inoue def. Shintaro Ishiwatari via KO - Round 1, 2:01 [bantamweight GP opening round]
Hiromasa Ougikubo def. Takeshi Kasugai via unanimous decision [bantamweight GP opening round]
Yuki Motoya def. Ryo Okada via unanimous decision [bantamweight GP opening round]
Yutaka Saito def. Vugar Karamov via split decision
Shoma Shibisai def. Tsuyoshi Sudario via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 3, 1:39
Satoshi Yamasu def. Noah Bey via split decision