Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Kai Asakura had to put in the work to get past a game Alan Yamaniha in the main event of RIZIN 30, which took place Sunday in Saitama, Japan, to advance and join Naoki Inoue, Hiromasa Ougikubo and Kenta Takizawa in the RIZIN 135-pound grand prix semifinals.
Both semifinals and finals are expected to go down on the same night on New Years’ Even in Japan, but the company has yet to announce the matchups.
Asakura headlined RIZIN 30 versus Yamaniha, a teammate of RIZIN lightweight champ Roberto Satoshi and featherweight contender Kleber Koike, and hurt the Brazilian with multiple attacks to the body in the opening round. Yamaniha survived, coming back stronger in the following rounds with left overhands and takedown attempts. The third round was close, but Asakura ultimately came out victorious via unanimous decision.
Two other quarterfinal matches went the distance, with Naoki Inoue and Hiromasa Ougikubo getting past Yuto Hokamura and Takafumi Otsuka, respectively, while Kenta Takizawa defeated Yuki Motoya inside the opening round, attacking him with punches until Motoya went through the ropes to escape. Watch the sequence below.
Olympic silver medalist Shinobu Ota scored his first MMA win in the undercard. Ota, who captured a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in greco-roman wrestling in Rio de Janeiro, won a decision over Yuta Kubo to improve to 1-1 in the sport. The decision-heavy card saw a 20-second stoppage win for Shoji Maruyama over Chihiro Suzuki in the curtain jerker.
Check the RIZIN 30 results below.
Kai Asakura def. Alan Yamaniha via unanimous decision
Naoki Inoue def. Yuto Hokamura via unanimous decision
Hiromasa Ougikubo def. Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision
Kenta Takizawa def. Yuki Motoya by first-round TKO (2:27)
Ayaka Hamasaki def. Emi Fujino via unanimous decision
Yusuke Yachi def. Koji Takeda via unanimous decision
Yoshinori Horie def. Yuta Sasaki via unanimous decision
Shinobu Ota def. Yuta Kubo via unanimous decision
Shoji Maruyama def. Chihiro Suzuki by first-round knockout (0:20)
Rina Okamoto def. Momoka Mandokoro via unanimous decision — kickboxing