RIZIN’s second-ever super atomweight tournamennt will kick off this Sunday from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The eight-woman bracket will be the main focus of RIZIN 37, which is scheduled to have 14 bouts in total.
RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa will start her tournament run in the main event of the night, facing undefeated promotional newcomer Laura Fontoura.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the event.
Main Card (1:00AM EDT / 2:00PM JST) (RIZIN Live)
Bout 14: Seika Izawa (6-0) vs. Laura Fontoura (7-0) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final Bout)
Izawa Scores Submission Win To Open Tournament Run
RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa started her grand prix run with a bang, submitting undefeated talent Laura Fontoura in the first round.
Izawa stopped Fontoura with a guillotine choke while on her back in the first round. She got her arm under the chin of Fontoura while she was in a full guard position, causing a tap to come eventually.
Izawa now has a flawless pro record of seven wins as a pro. She captured the RIZIN Super Atomweight belt in her prior appearance, defeating Ayaka Hamasaki via decision in April.
Now in the upcoming semi-finals of the bracket, Izawa has the chance to face Hamasaki in a trilogy, or take on RENA or Park Si-woo.
Fontoura entered this card as a RIZIN newcomer. She had a perfect record of seven wins, albeit with most against opponents with little experience.
Bout 13: Ayaka Hamasaki (23-5) vs. Jessica Aguilar (20-9) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final Bout)
Hamasaki Defeats Veteran Aguilar To End Skid, Win In Grand Prix Quarter-Finals
Former long-time RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion won her first fight in the 108-pound grand prix, defeating former UFC fighter Jessica Aguilar on scorecards.
Hamasaki had a damage-heavy performance that earned her the victory.
Hamasaki notably hurt Aguilar in the first round, landing a kick to the body and following up with a series of punches that dropped her.
Hamasaki continued to land with strikes in the second and third rounds, with that being the focus on the feet and on the ground.
The fight on Sunday turned things around for Hamasaki after losing two consecutive fights to Seika Izawa. Before those losses, Hamasaki dominated the 108-pound division through two lengthy title reigns in RIZIN.
Aguilar is now on a four-fight losing streak, including the end of her UFC run in 2018 and 2019.
The fight on Sunday came with some history. Hamasaki and Aguilar were first booked to meet all the way back in 2011 on a JEWELS card – however, that bout ended up not happening.
Bout 12: Hideo Tokoro (35-30-2) vs. Makoto Shinryu (13-1-1) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Shinryu Defeats Legend Tokoro In Return To RIZIN
Rising flyweight prospect Makoto Shinryu scored a notable victory in his return to RIZIN, defeating experienced MMA talent Hideo Tokoro on scorecards.
Shinryu and Tokoro engaged in a grappling-heavy fight that was almost entirely on the ground. While on his for a large portion of these exchanges, Tokoro was often active with grappling attempts.
Shinryu is one of the top rising names coming out of regional promotion DEEP Impact. He has gone undefeated since 2018 and is the promotion’s flyweight champion currently.
Shinryu’s previous RIZIN appearance was a 2020 victory over Seiichiro Ito.
Tokoro, an MMA veteran of more than two decades, was appearing for the first time since late 2020. His previous fight saw him submit Shinobu Ota in his pro debut.
Bout 11: Johnny Case (27-8-1) vs. Koji Takeda (13-3) (159 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Takeda Bounces Back Against Case
Koji Takeda returned to the win column on Sunday night with a decision victory against Johnny Case.
Takeda’s victory was generated from a slow-paced battle on the feet against Case.
Takeda’s trademark german suplexes were on display late in the fight, getting Case to the canvas two times late in the battle.
Both fighters were aiming to come back after a recent loss.
Takeda appeared earlier this year, getting submitted by UFC alum Spike Carlyle.
Case failed to become champion at RIZIN 35, getting submitted early by Roberto Satoshi Souza.
Bout 10: Kanna Asakura (19-6) vs. Park Si-woo (7-4) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final Bout)
Park Defeats 2017 Grand Prix Winner Asakura In Opening Round
Park Si-woo picked up a big win in the quarter-finals of the RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix, defeating 2017 tournament winner Kanna Asakura via unanimous decision.
Park had a suffocating gameplan against Asakura, forcing her to defend throughout every moment of the fight. In early rounds of the fight, Park scored takedowns against Asakura and kept her on the ground.
Park finished the fight strong, cornering Asakura and stringing together a series of shots that were rocking her consistently during the third round. The stand-up skills of Park were on display throughout this round, stinging Asakura numerous times with clean shots.
Park’s work throughout the fight allowed her to have a safe decision victory by the end.
Park, a veteran of DEEP Jewels, was making her second appearance in RIZIN. She made a splash in the promotion last year, defeating RENA via unanimous decision at RIZIN 33.
Asakura has now lost three of her last five fights. Her previous outing was a decision over SARAMI from April.
Bout 9: RENA (12-4) vs. Anastasiya Svetkivska (2-0) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final Bout)
RENA Guts Out Decision Over Svetkivska To Advance In Grand Prix
RENA became the first fighter to advance in the RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix on Sunday night, prevailing in a close stand-up battle against Anastasiya Svetkivska for a decision victory.
RENA started strong in the fight, doing damage in the opening round against Svetkivska. She notably dropped the undefeated newcomer with a left hook, then seated her once again with a follow-up head kick.
The fight became much closer in the second and third rounds, as Svetkivska started to connect with shots against a slow-paced gameplan from RENA. The later rounds in the fight allowed Svetkivska to get more shots in against a surprisingly low-output RENA.
The fight on Sunday put RENA back into the win column after losing to Park Si-woo at RIZIN 33 late last year. Her appearance in the grand prix also marked her return to the super atomweight limit.
RENA spent more recent years appearing at catchweights above the 108-pound limit. Her absence from the division came due to a weight cut scare in 2018 when she was hospitalized after failing to read the super atomweight limit.
Svetkivska entered this card with a short undefeated record of two wins since debuting in December 2021.
Bout 8: Hideki Sekine (12-5) vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (4-1) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Sudario Stops Sekine Within A Minute, Scores Biggest Win of Career
Tsuyoshi Sudario put a sudden end to Hideki Sekine’s recent success, flattening him with punches in the first minute of their heavyweight bout.
Sudario first dropped Sekine with a counter left hook just seconds into their fight. On the ground, Sudario landed another hook on the head of Sekine. The referee stepped in to end the fight just moments later.
The fight on Sunday was the biggest win of Sudario’s career thus far. The former sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter has now scored five victories since transitioning to the sport in 2020.
Sekine is the most experienced name that Sudario has faced. Not only that, but he entered this weekend with the momentum of a four-fight winning streak.
Bout 7: Yuki Motoya (30-10) vs. Shinobu Ota (2-1) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Motoya Uses Striking To Defeat Wrestler Ota
Veteran Yuki Motoya scored a win over former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Shinobu Ota, beating him on scorecards.
The three-round fight was a battle between Motoya attempting to connect with striking, and Ota using his wrestling background to earn control time and stop striking opportunities from opening up.
In the first and second rounds, Motoya’s stand-up skills were where he saw success. In the few moments where clinch positions didn’t stop Motoya from working, he was putting together clean shots against Ota.
Motoya briefly had ground control in the third round, allowing him to land shots from that position and even attempt a kimura. The fight ended on the feet, where Motoya continued to land and Ota surprisingly started to answer back.
Ota’s pro record is now an even two wins and two losses. He entered this card with the momentum of a finish win, stopping Kazuma Sone at RIZIN’s 2021 New Year’s Eve card.
Motoya has now strung together three consecutive wins in RIZIN. Previous victories came against Kintaro and Alan Yamaniha.
Bout 6: Tetsuya Seki (15-8-1) vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (15-5) (150 lbs) (MMA Bout)
ONE Veteran Nakahara Wins RIZIN Debut
ONE Championship alum Yoshiki Nakahara won his RIZIN debut on Sunday night, going three rounds on the feet against Tetsuya Seki for a unanimous decision win.
Nakahara out-landed Seki for most of the slow-paced striking battle. His best moment came late, as he was able to rock Seki with a combination of punches in the closing seconds of the bout.
Nakahara joined the RIZIN roster after a four-fight run in Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship. He was successful during his time with them, scoring three wins via finish.
Seki was Nakahara’s second opponent for this card. Nakahara was originally scheduled to face Ulka Sasaki, but plans changed after he had to withdraw from the card recently.
Seki earned a RIZIN victory earlier this year, defeating Akira Haraguchi on a “LANDMARK” card in May.
Bout 5: Marcos Yoshio Souza (9-2) vs. Daichi Abe (10-5) (176 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Abe Drops Returning Souza With Punches In The Second Round
Daichi Abe scored a brutal finish on Sunday night, folding grappling specialist Marcos Yoshio Souza in the second round with a hard punch.
Abe knocked Souza to the canvas in the second round with a clean right cross. Before the referee stepped in to end the fight, Abe slightly landed a soccer kick to the head of Souza as well.
Souza was able to control earlier parts of the fight, although fatigue started to become an issue as the contest progressed. Abe also was picking Souza apart in stand-up exchanges, where there was a clear skill discrepancy.
Abe, a former UFC and ONE Championship fighter, now has a RIZIN record of two wins and one loss. His previous fight was a decision victory over Strasser Kiichi in March.
Souza was making his return on this card. His previous fight, which is his sole RIZIN win, was an early 2020 victory against Taichi Nakajima.
Bout 4: Vugar Karamov (16-4) vs. Sora Yamamoto (16-6-2) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Karamov Prevails Over Yamamoto On Scorecards
Vugar Karamov picked up another win on Sunday night, returning to secure a unanimous decision win over short-notice opponent Sora Yamamoto.
Karamov mostly utilized ground control to win the fight. He took Yamamoto down in every frame and spent numerous minutes in full guard landing punches and elbows.
Karamov also succeeded on the feet, even landing a knockdown late in the fight with an overhand right.
Yamamoto was stepping in to replace Rikuto Shirakawa, who withdrew from the card due to injury. Yamamoto had already fought earlier this month, defeating Kyle Aguon at RIZIN 36.
Karamov has now scored two victories in the year. His previous fight was a much more emphatic win, submitting Taichi Nakajima in the first round of a fight via triangle choke.
Bout 3: Ryusei vs. Kaishi (128 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Ryusei Drops Kaishi Twice To Win RIZIN Debut
Ryusei scored a brutal win on Sunday night, landing two knockdowns against Kaishi to earn a third-round stoppage.
Ryusei first dropped Kaishi in the second round with a knee to the head. A round later, a combination of punches and knees to the stomach dropped Kaishi once again and caused the fight to end.
Ryusei is a current champion in kickboxing promotion KNOCK OUT. He has scored four straight wins for them since 2021, with one of the victories coming just three months ago.
Kaiji was also making his RIZIN debut, coming off a successful run in Japanese promotions NHKF and Hoost Cup Kings.
Bout 2: Hiroki Kasahara vs. Yusaku Ishizuki (138 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Shoot Boxing Standout Kasahara Wins RIZIN Debut
Shoot Boxing talent Hiroki Kasahara won his RIZIN debut on Sunday night, prevailing over Yusaku Ishizuka in a scrappy three-round kickboxing bout via unanimous decision.
Kasahara engaged in numerous back-and-forth exchanges that saw both fighters consume shots. He often scored the better strikes in these exchanges, earning him rounds in the fight.
Kasahara earned an early lead in the contest, scoring a knockdown in the first frame with a series of punches.
In an arguably unsafe test of his toughness, Kasahara intentionally absorbed some punches during certain exchanges in the fight.
Kasahara was making his first RIZIN appearance after a strong run in Shoot Boxing. He earned eight consecutive wins in the promotion from 2020 to 2022, along with his latest RIZIN victory.
Ishizuki was representing RISE Kickboxing in this bout. He is now on a three-fight losing streak.
Bout 1: YUSHI (1-1) vs. Haruki (0-0) (137 lbs) (MMA Bout)
YUSHI Returns To Flagship RIZIN Series With Win
Charismatic bantamweight YUSHI had his second successful performance as a pro in the opening bout of Sunday’s card, catching Haruki with a rear naked choke.
The submission from YUSHI came in the second round of their bout. In a dominant ground position, he slipped an arm under the chin of Haruki, forcing a tap in the second round.
YUSHI succeeded in the first round of the bout as well, dropping Haruki with a right cross punch at one time.
YUSHI has now scored two consecutive victories since losing his debut on New Year’s Eve. His previous win came on a smaller RIZIN “LANDMARK” card, where he stopped Tony Tony Zenki with strikes.