On Saturday, Feb. 22, Rizin Fighting Federation hosted its 21st event from Hamamatsu, Japan.
Saturday’s show served as a launchpad to contender status for featherweight headliner Mikuru Asakura and bantamweight staple Victor Henry, while also delivering what we’ve come to expect from a Japanese event, right down to a five-against-one grappling exhibition.
Asakura took center stage in a featherweight clash with Daniel Salas, a name that should ring some bells with viewers of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2. Salas competed on the UFC reality series, but he failed to advance beyond his first fight. Salas sought to shock the Japanese crowd when he faced Asakura, who had won 13 of his 14 pro bouts.
Henry was the other notable name in this lineup. The American bantamweight rose to prominence under the Pancrase banner, but a few losses took the shine off his prospect status. Henry made a successful Rizin debut in August. The 32-year-old aimed to extend his current six-fight winning streak while welcoming Masanori Kanehara to the promotion.
In addition to the two featured bouts, the Rizin 21 lineup included another five MMA fights and five kickboxing bouts. There was also the aforementioned grappling exhibition, which pitted Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza, a highly decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, against a five-person team led by Yuki Nakai.
The event was live above on pay-per-view at midnight ET.
Mikuru Asakura def. Daniel Salas by knockout. Round 2, 2:34
Victor Henry def. Masanori Kanehara by TKO. Round 2, 0:45
Roque Martinez def. Hideki Sekine by TKO. Round 1, 4:04
Marcos Yoshio de Souza def. Falco Neto by TKO. Round 1, 1:27
Kenji Kato def. Yuto Hokamura by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:21
Naoki Inoue def. Trent Girdham by unanimous decision
Vugar Keramov def. Kyle Aguon by unanimous decision
Kickboxing: Kosuke Jitsukata def. Ryo Sakai by knockout. Round 1, 1:28
Kickboxing: Kenichi Takeuchi def. Naoya by unanimous decision
Kickboxing: Henry Cejas def. SEIDO by unanimous decision
Kickboxing: Yuya Shibata def. Kouki by knockout. Round 1, 2:30
Kickboxing: Masaji Tozuka vs. Masahiro Ozawa ruled a majority draw
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