RIZIN will present a trio of title fights on Sunday when they host an event from the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event, lightweight champ Roberto Satoshi Souza will face Johnny Case.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the event.
Main Card (1:00AM EDT / 2:00PM JST) (Live-Now / RIZIN Live)
Bout 10: Roberto Satoshi Souza (13-1) vs. Johnny Case (27-7-1) (RIZIN Lightweight Championship)
Souza Submits Case, Avenges Sole Loss
Roberto Satoshi Souza avenged his sole pro loss in Sunday’s main event, submitting Johnny Case in the opening round defend his RIZIN Lightweight Championship for the second time.
Souza applied a rare-looking triangle choke, with his right leg around the front of Case’s neck, and the other leg behind the head of Case while Souza was laid on his back in a side control position. This submission was locked in and caused Case to tap only seconds after it was put in place.
Souza showcased his crafty grappling earlier in the fight, troubling Case with quick scrambles on the canvas. The fight was its closest on the feet, where Case’s quick jabs would often allow him to get the best of exchanges.
Souza took his first pro loss to Case in 2019, getting finished in the second minute of a bout. He climbed to the top of the promotion’s lightweight ranks in the following years, defeating Tofiq Musayev at RIZIN 28 to become the promotion’s first lightweight champ.
Souza defended his belt for the first time on New Year’s Eve, submitting Yusuke Yachi in the second round of a bout.
Case was appearing in MMA for the first time in more than two years.
Bout 9: Juntaro Ushiku (21-8-1) vs. Yutaka Saito (20-6-2) (RIZIN Featherweight Championship)
Ushiku Defeats Saito On Scorecards, Defends Featherweight Belt For The First Time
Juntaro Ushiku retained his RIZIN Featherweight Championship for the first time on Sunday night, earning a unanimous decision win over former titleholder Yutaka Saito after three rounds of action.
While the fight was close, Ushiku had bigger moments against Saito throughout.
The first round of the fight saw both featherweights land strikes in a back-and-forth battle on the feet.
Ushiku dropped Saito early in the second round with a head kick. He then went to the ground with a guillotine choke attempt, looking to close out the fight. Saito escaped this choke and was able to close out the round with punches from full guard.
Saito came out aggressive in the final round, but Ushiku continued to answer back. Saito was notably dropped to one knee momentarily after Ushiku landed a quick counter left hook.
Saito continued to march forward later in the round, charging in with punches or even flying knees.
Ushiku became champion in October 2021 when he first fought Saito, as a cut to the head of Saito forced a doctor stoppage in the second round of their fight. Sunday’s fight provided a much more decisive result than last time.
Saito lost another bout in-between then and Sunday, dropping a decision on New Year’s Eve against Mikuru Asakura.
Bout 8: Ayaka Hamasaki (23-4) vs. Seika Izawa (5-0) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Championship)
Izawa Beats Hamasaki In Rematch To Earn Super Atomweight Championship
Seika Izawa defeated Ayaka Hamasaki for the second time on Sunday, crowning her the new RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion through a unanimous decision result.
Izawa had a hard-fought win against Hamasaki that saw her make use of her grappling skills.
Izawa was on her back for a fair amount of the first round, although she remained the more active fighter in these positions with strikes and submission attempts.
Izawa clearly controlled most of the second round, getting Hamasaki down early and controlling her in dominant grappling positions.
Hamasaki threatened an armbar in the third round, forcing a stalemate position for over a minute. The armbar was eventually extended by Hamasaki, but Izawa escaped only seconds after.
Hamasaki closed out the final round strong, landing punches to the body of Izawa while in half guard.
Izawa previously beat Hamasaki on New Year’s Eve, finishing her in the second round of a non-title fight. The 24-year-old has now earned six wins since turning pro in 2020.
The outcome potentially ends an era in RIZIN’s super atomweight division. Hamasaki was the promotion’s 108-pound champion in recent years, holding the belt during two different reigns from 2018 to 2022.
Bout 7: Tsuyoshi Kosaka (41-33-2) vs. Mikio Ueda (0-0) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Kosaka Scores Finish Win In Retirement Bout
52-year-old Tsuyoshi Kosaka earned his first win since 2015 on Sunday, defeating pro newcomer Mikio Ueda with strikes. The fight marked the end of a historic career for Kosaka that spanned numerous decades.
Kosaka stopped Ueda in the first round, flooring him with an overhand right then finishing the bout with ground and pound shots.
Ueda had briefly landed strikes earlier in the bout, although Ueda was able to stop his momentum with a takedown.
Kosaka is best known for competing as a pro from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. He competed in promotions like RINGS, UFC, and Pride FC. He had previously appeared in RIZIN, although Sunday was the first time he won in the promotion.
An emotional Kosaka was given a 10-bell salute after his win. In attendance were his wife and two children, who handed him flowers after his victory.
Ueda, an experienced name in karate, was making his first appearance as a pro.
Bout 6: Kanna Asakura (18-6) vs. SARAMI (16-12) (108 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Asakura Returns With Victory Over SARAMI
Kanna Asakura returned to the win column on Sunday night, fighting to a unanimous decision win against veteran SARAMI.
Asakura’s win came from her ability to take SARAMI throughout the fight. She got SARAMI to the ground frequently in the fight, using these positions to often land strikes.
SARAMI remained a threat on her back, searching for submissions at times and even connecting with upkicks to the head.
SARAMI is a veteran of the regional scene, fighting in promotions like DEEP Jewels and Shooto Japan. She beat Mina Kurobe in her previous fight to become the Shooto Japan Atomweight Champion.
Bout 5: Koji Takeda (13-2) vs. Spike Carlyle (13-3) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Carlyle Puts Takeda To Sleep In RIZIN Debut
Former UFC fighter Spike Carlyle won his RIZIN debut on Sunday, submitting Koji Takeda in the second round with a guillotine choke.
Carlyle pulled guard with the choke while in a clinch position with Takeda on the feet. With the choke fully applied on the ground, Carlyle kept the submission applied until Takeda went unconscious and the fight was halted.
Takeda had control for most of the first round, holding Carlyle in clinch positions on the feet mostly.
Carlyle is joining RIZIN after a strong 2021 that saw him pick up four finish wins in the U.S., including a victory in Bellator.
Takeda’s previous appearance was an armbar win over BeyNoah on New Year’s Eve.
Bout 4: Shoma Shibisai (7-3) vs. Rihards Bigis (9-0) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Shibisai Stops Bigis Early
Shoma Shibisai handed Rihard Bigis his first pro loss on Sunday night, finishing him in the first round with ground and pound.
Shibisai scored a takedown just moments into his fight against Bigis. He later moved into full mount, where he landed hammerfist punches and elbows to end the fight.
Shibisai took his first RIZIN loss on New Year’s Eve, getting stopped in the second round of a fight against Hideki Sekine. He had three consecutive wins in the promotion prior to then.
Bigis made his RIZIN debut on Sunday’s card. He entered with an undefeated record of nine fights.
Bout 3: Yuki Motoya (29-10) vs. Alan Yamaniha (19-9-4) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Motoay Takes Decision Over Yamaniha
Yuki Motoya secured a decision win on Sunday night, controlling Alan Yamaniha on the ground for a unanimous decision ruling.
Motoya took Yamaniha down in every round. He took full guard after most of these takedowns, using these positions to periodically connect with punches.
There were worries about the fight possibly getting stopped in the first round, as a cut to the head of Motoya caused him to get checked on by a ringside official. This cut came from an elbow that Yamaniha landed while on his back.
Motoya fought in the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix last year, getting eliminated in an upset result against Kenta Takizawa in the quarter-finals. His most recent fight before Sunday was a victory over Kintaro on New Year’s Eve.
Yamaniha earned a win just a month before Sunday, submitting Motonobu Tezuka at RIZIN 34. Like Motoya, he also fought in the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix last year and was eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Bout 2: Vugar Karamov (15-4) vs. Taichi Nakajima (15-11-1) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Karamov Submits Nakajima Early
Vugar Karamov scored a slick submission win in his return, putting Taichi Nakajima to sleep with a triangle choke in the first round.
Karamov was able to catch Nakajima with the choke while in full mount during the opening round, keeping with the submission until he went to sleep and the fight concluded.
Nakajima had success on the feet earlier in the opening round, landing clean shots on Karamov.
Karamov now has a RIZIN record of two wins and one loss. His previous appearance was a close split decision against Yutaka Saito in June 2021.
Nakajima was making his RIZIN debut on Sunday. He mainly competes in Pancrase, where he gained a belt in late 2021 with a win over Rui Imura.
Bout 1: Takahiro Ashida (24-11-2) vs. Kyle Aguon (13-10) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Aguon Ends Losing Streak In Return
Kyle Aguon picked up his first RIZIN win to open Sunday’s card, dominating Takahiro Ashida for a unanimous decision win.
Work on the ground is what earned Aguon a win on Sunday. He took Ashida down in all three rounds, using these positions to do damage with punches and elbows to Ashida.
Aguon also looked for submissions, verbally asking for an arm of Ashida during the third round.
Aguon entered the weekend on a three-fight losing streak, including two appearances in RIZIN. His performance Sunday gave him his first win since 2019.
Ashida was finished in his previous fight, suffering a stoppage loss to Masanori Kanehara last year.