Ayaka Hamasaki (Jeff Vulgamore/Combat Press)

Rizin 14 Adds Hamasaki-Asakura and Miyata-Yamamoto

Rizin Fighting Federation president Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced two fights for the new year’s eve event, Rizin.14, which takes place on Monday, Dec. 31, from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The promotion announced a championship bout featuring two of the very best women’s atomweights in the world, former Invicta FC and JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki and 2017 Rizin super atomweight grand prix champ Kanna Asakura. Hamasaki holds victories over DEEP titleholder Mina Kurobe and Alyssa Garcia, who holds a win over Asakura, since signing with the promotion in 2018. Currently sitting atop the Combat Press atomweight rankings, Hamasaki will be the favorite heading into this competitive super fight. Asakura, 21, has won eight straight fights, including two victories over Shoot Boxing legend Rena Kubota.

In what is being billed as a “KID” Yamamoto memorial match, the legendary fallen fighter’s nephew, Erson Yamamoto, will take on a fighter his uncle once defeated with one of the greatest knockouts in MMA history, Kazuyuki Miyata. The former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling has fought many of Japan’s best since debuting in 2004. The 44-year-old defeated Caol Uno, Takeshi Inoue, Takafumi Otsuka and Erikas Petraitis. In his most recent bout, he tapped out two-time K-1 MAX world champion Andy Souwer. Yamamoto, 22, is returning for the first time since eating a devastating head kick against Manel Kape in October of 2017. The Krazy Bee athlete has traded losses and wins since debuting in the sport in 2015.