On Sunday, July 30, RIZIN Fighting Federation returned to the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, for RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2017 1st Round.
In the evening’s main event, one of the world’s top flyweights, Kyoji Horiguchi, returned to the bantamweight division against Japanese MMA legend Hideo Tokoro. Horiguchi had won 19 of his 21 career bouts with victories in 13 of his past 14 fights. Horiguchi’s only loss in that span came against the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, Demterious Johnson, during their five-round championship affair at UFC 186. Tokoro has fought many of the best fighters around the world for nearly 17 years.
In the night’s main card action, kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa, who is only 18 years old, took on K-1 veteran turned MMA fighter Kizaemon Saiga in a mixed-rules contest. The first round was five minutes of kickboxing, and the second round was slated to be a five-minute round under MMA rules.
Decorated Japanese lightweight Satoru Kitaoka took on surging Krazy Bee representative Yusuke Yachi. Kitaoka holds victories over former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, former Pride FC lightweight champ Takanori Gomi, and Bellator MMA standout Paul Daley. Yachi stopped Mario Sismundo and UFC vet Daron Cruickshank in back-to-back victories to begin his promotional career.
Two of the promotion’s top female fighters, Gabi Garcia and “King” Reina Miura met Russia’s Oksana Gagloeva and Tonga’s Lei’D Tapa, respectively.
The opening round of the bantamweight tournament featured DEEP champion Takafumi Otsuka fighting UFC veteran Anthony Birchak and undefeated German Khalid Taha clashing with Shooto Pacific Rim titleholder Keita Ishibashi.
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