Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (Sachiko Hodaka/Rizin FF)

Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2017 Final Round Results: Horiguchi Wins Bantamweight Grand Prix, Asakura, Tenshin Secure Tournament Wins

On Sunday, Dec. 31, Rizin Fighting Federation held its final event of the year from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, for Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2017: Final Round.

The winner of the 16-man bantamweight grand prix tournament was crowned in the main event. UFC veteran Kyoji Horiguchi kicked off the night against exciting trash talker Manel Kape and current King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari met current DEEP bantamweight champion Takafumi Otsuka. Horiguchi knocked out Ishiwatari in the second round to win the grand prix.

In the evening’s co-man event, the promotion crowned the winner of the eight-woman super atomweight tournament that featured Shoot Boxing star Rena Kubota, Spain’s Irene Rivera, Maria Oliveira, and eventual winner Kanna Asakura.


In the night’s main card action, legendary striker Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović returned from a brief retirement to take on Pride FC veteran Tsuyoshi Kosaka. Rising women’s flyweight prospect Shinju Nozawa-Auclair earned revenge against Chelsea LaGrasse, the only fighter to hold a win over her because Nozawa-Auclair landed an illegal high kick, which was not allowed during the amateur bout held in the state of Ohio. Former Pride FC and UFC veteran Takanori Gomi couldn’t return to the win column against rising lightweight Yusuke Yachi.

Elsewhere on the card, Tenshin Nasukawa fought in a one-night kickboxing tournament that featured the King of Pancrase strawweight champion Mitsuhisa Sunabe, Japanese lethwei titleholder Yuta “Cat” Hamamoto, and a former opponent, Yamamto Fujita.

The event aired live at 1 a.m. ET on Combat Press via Fite TV.

Kyoji Horiguchi def. Shintaro Ishiwatari by knockout (punches). Round 2, 0:14 – bantamweight tournament final
Kanna Asakura def. Rena Kubota by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:34 – women’s super atomweight tournament
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Yamato Fujita by TKO (three knockdowns). Round 1 – kickboxing tournament final
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović def. Tsuyoshi Kosaka by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 1:02
Shinju Nozawa-Auclair def. Chelsea LaGrasse by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:47
Yusuke Yachi def. Takanori Gomi by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 2:36
Kanna Asakura def. Maria Oliveira by submission (armbar). Round 2, 3:40 – women’s super atomweight tournament semifinal
Rena Kubota def. Irene Rivera by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:39 – women’s super atomweight tournament semifinal
Yamato Fujita def. Mitsuhisa Sunabe by TKO (left hook). Round 3 – kickboxing tournament semifinal
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Yuta Hamamoto by knockout (flying knee). Round 2 – kickboxing tournament semifinal
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Takafumi Otsuka by unanimous decision – bantamweight tournament semifinal
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Manel Kape by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 3, 4:27 – bantamweight tournament semifinal