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.
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