Chihiro Suzuki spoiled the return of former K-1 Japan kickboxer Ren Hiramoto on Sunday night, defeating him via unanimous decision in the main event of RIZIN “LANDMARK Vol. 2.”
The three-round fight kept Hiramoto winless through two appearances in MMA.
Suzuki’s victory came by getting the best of a hectic start to the battle and controlling the later stages in slower exchanges.
Suzuki hurt Hiramoto in a hectic opening minute to their fight. In this exchange, Suzuki notably stunned Hiramoto with a right cross. By the end of the round, Hiramoto’s left eye had visible swelling around it.
Hiramoto connected with his own punches in the first round as well, although it was visible on the fighters that Suzuki had the more damaging shots.
After hurting Hiramoto in the first round with strikes, Suzuki then focused on takedowns and clinch positions to keep Hiramoto grounded for the second and third rounds.
Hiramoto was making his first appearance in over a year, hoping to secure his first victory in MMA.
Hiramoto had an unsuccessful debut in 2020, getting stopped by Kyohei Hagiwara at the promotion’s New Year’s Eve card. In an attempt to improve his MMA skills, Hiramoto went on an excursion to U.S. gym Roufusport in 2021 to train with names like Sergio and Anthony Pettis.
Suzuki has now picked up two wins through three appearances in RIZIN. His previous fight was a decision victory over Sora Yamamoto at “TRIGGER 1st.”
Suzuki Stops Shoji Early With Strikes
Muay Thai and Shootboxing vet Hiroaki Suzuki made quick work of veteran Shoji, using his sharp striking skills to finish him in the first round and pick up his second MMA win.
Strikes from Suzuki caused Shoji to bleed just seconds into their fight. A rocked Shoji consumed numerous strikes in the opening minute, although he was able to use wrestling to slow the momentum of Suzuki.
Back on their feet, Suzuki dropped Shoji with a left hook to end the fight.
Suzuki was fighting to come back from his sole MMA loss, which came against Kyohei Hagiwara on New Year’s Eve 2021.
Shoji has now lost four of his last five fights. This includes a doctor stoppage loss he suffered against Hagiwara in November 2021.
Nadaka Picks Up Another Knockout In Return
Young Muay Thai star Yoshinari Nadaka scored another brutal stoppage on Sunday night, stopping Yusei Shirahata in the second round of a kickboxing bout.
Nadaka first floored Shirahata with a counter right during an exchange between the strawweights in the second round. Shirahata protested this being ruled as a knockdown, trying to shrug it off.
Moments later, a left cross from Nadaka knocked Shirahata out, putting an end to the fight.
Nadaka now has five wins in RIZIN, all of which have come via stoppage.
Shirahata, a veteran of promotions KNOCK OUT and REBELS, was making his RIZIN debut.
Ito Earns First RIZIN Win Against Fullswing
Kuya Ito picked up his first RIZIN win on Sunday night, defeating veteran Uoi Fullswing via unanimous decision.
The win saw Ito utilize a mix of striking and grappling to get the best of Fullswing in all three rounds. Ito was the more active fighter throughout, with Fullswing never having a similar output.
Fullswing snapped a five-fight losing streak in his previous appearance, stopping Shian on a RIZIN “TRIGGER” card.
Ito lost his RIZIN debut last year to Kintaro. That fight was part of the promotion’s 16-man bantamweight tournament.
CORO Ends Winning Streak of Masuda
Veteran CORO pulled off a split decision win over prospect Takuma Masuda after a grappling-heavy three-round fight.
Masuda had a good start to the fight, getting CORO to the ground both times. With that being said, he often didn’t do much with the positions.
CORO’s best round was the last, as he earned his own takedowns on Masuda.
Masuda entered Sunday on a six-fight winning streak in Pancrase and DEEP Impact cards in Osaka.
CORO is now on a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission wins he earned in DEEP Impact last year.
Main Card (5:00AM EST / 7:00PM JST) (RIZIN Live / Live-Now)
Bout 5: Chihiro Suzuki def. Ren Hiramoto via Decision, Unanimous (MMA Bout)
Bout 4: Hiroaki Suzuki def. Shoji via TKO, Strikes (RD 1) (MMA Bout)
Bout 3: Yoshinari Nadaka def. Yusei Shirahata via TKO, Strikes (RD 2) (Kickboxing Bout)
Bout 2: Kuya Ito def. Uoi Fullswing via Decision, Unanimous (MMA Bout)
Bout 1: CORO def. Takuma Masuda via Decision, Split (MMA Bout)