In MMA’s lightest division, the spotlight isn’t too bright in North America, but the fighters are still lighting things up.
Leading the way for them in the West is the Invicta FC atomweight champion, Jinh Yu Frey (8-3). After six fights in the promotion, the seventh was her crowning moment when she defeated Minna Grusander via unanimous decision. Since then, Frey has successfully defended the title once by defeating Grusander in their instant rematch.
However, this wasn’t Frey’s first crack at Invicta gold. That came in September 2016 when she took on the then champion, Ayaka Hamasaki (17-2).
Never losing her title, Hamasaki would go up to strawweight before heading to RIZIN following her second-round TKO of Frey (doctor’s stoppage via cut). Hamasaki is now 3-0 and the inaugural RIZIN super atomweight champion, thus establishing herself as the greatest atomweight of all time.
In a fight that Frey was finding much success in, it was anticlimactic to see her lose via a cut… Now she may be getting her chance at redemption.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that a champion vs champion rematch between the two is in the works for RIZIN 16 on June 2. The bout would be for Hamasaki’s title once again.
“Invicta FC atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey vs. Rizin atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki is in the works for Rizin 16 on June 2, sources told ESPN. The bout, which will be contested for the Rizin super atomweight belt, will be a rematch. Hamasaki won in 2016 via doctor stoppage.” Helwani tweeted.
As two of the top three atomweights in the world right now, getting a rematch of this caliber across organizations would be a real treat. Especially as it adds Frey into the mix with the likes of fellow elite level atomweights like Kanna Asakura and Rena Kubota. The former of which is also expected to fight at the upcoming RIZIN card.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/29/2019