RIZIN 16 results: Ayaka Hamasaki defeats Jinh Yu Frey again, Tenshin Nasukawa claims gold (Highlights)

Ayaka-Hamasaki
PhotoCred: RIZIN FF

RIZIN touched down in Kobe for the first time ever with RIZIN 16. And as per usual, the promotion delivered with plenty of great fights.

The first of the final six bouts saw the fan favorite, Daron Cruickshank make his return to the RIZIN ring when he took on the rising lightweight, Tofiq Musayev.

The first half of the opening round was essentially a kicking contest as each man traded to the legs and body. Musayev was the more active and powerful of the two. The fighters’ overall arsenals were utilized much more as the round wound down. Cruickshank was able to land some clean punches as did his opponent. A stiff spinning elbow would connect for Cruickshank but Musayev was unphased. Round ends with a superman punch attempt from the American.

The pace increased instantly into the second frame as Cruickshank would land a spinning back fist early. They continued to trade an assortment of kicks for a good period of time before punching combos would be exchanged briefly. Cruickshank would rush in and buckle to the ground awkwardly with what seemed like an injury but he hid it well once getting back up. The replay would show that Musayev hit him with a short left. Musayev would then catch a teep kick and crack Cruickshank with a left hook forcing him to the ground. Ground and pound from Musayev and up kicks from Cruickshank would close out round two.

Cruickshank rushed in again early into round three and ate more shots than he could land on each attempt. Musayev would start to do some heavy bodywork with punches and, of course, kicks. A single leg attempt would follow to no avail. A flashy spinning kick from Musayev would miss but he would make good on the attempt by hitting a big double leg. Cruickshank hopped up pretty soon after but wound up on his back again regardless. Musayev defended a kimura and kept on landing the heavy ground and pound. With one minute remaining, Cruickshank threw up a hail mary triangle but Musayev was wise to it and continued dropping bombs.

Result: Musayev def Cruickshank via unanimous decision

World Series of Fighting vet, Jake Heun would end up making his sophomore RIZIN appearance at RIZIN 16 as he went up to heavyweight and fought the always exciting Roque Martinez.

Heun was backed up for essentially the entire round but was able to connect nicely with punches, elbows, and body kicks. Martinez was defending while trying to find the timing on his lighter opponent. Martinez got more comfortable towards the end of the round and was starting to find a home. A sneaky uppercut from Heun got Martinez’ attention. Round one ends seeing both men bloodied while Martinez continues the pursuit with Heun landing significantly with body kicks.

Within 15 seconds of the second round, Heun, a heavyweight, threw a cartwheel kick that Martinez was able to unsurprisingly block. Martinez had found more of his rhythm in this round as he was landing punches aplenty from hook to uppercuts on Heun against the ropes. The pressure was seeming to take its toll by this point but Heun was still firing back. Just less effectively as he did prior. Towards the final minute, Martinez ate some big punches like they were nothing which is nothing new from him. With a minute remaining, the doctors took a look at Martinez’ cut and once the action resumed, Heun had seemed refreshed and really came at Martinez before capitalizing on a slip and working some soccer kicks before the bell sounded.

The two entered the clinch immediately at the start of round three where Martinez would touch Heun with some big elbows and uppercuts. Separating shortly after, the Guam native was back on the attack and landing while Heun was swinging at the air before they clinched again. As the fight went on, Heun was getting a bit sloppy. Martinez walked his opponent down and ended up getting a big slam. A small scramble in counter led to Martinez landing elbows from half guard. The fight ended with Martinez unloading from the top position.

Result: Heun def Martinez via split decision

Next was the first of the two big atomweight showdowns. The first of which featured a rising star and divisional elite in the young Kanna Asakura as she took on the seasoned Miyuu Yamamoto.

An early takedown attempt from the accomplished wrestler in Yamamoto started off the engagement. Yamamoto couldn’t fully execute it thus leading to a brief clinching in the corner. Asakura would go for a takedown of her own which would be thwarted until she hit a beautiful reversal out of a whizzer to get into half guard. But it wouldn’t last. Battling for clinch control, the opening round would end with the fighters at distance with Yamamoto throwing out her jab.

In the opening thirty seconds of the middle round, Yamamoto would stuff another double-leg attempt. Asakura wasn’t too aggressive with her strikes but when she did throw, it was usually in nice calculated combos. As the round went on, they were trying to counter at the same time. Another shot from Asakura would be defended and this time Yamamoto reversed it to her advantage as she landed some ground and pound with knees and punches before Asakura found an opportunity to get up. As they were still in tight, Yamamoto continued her compact onslaught. Round ends with a head and arm throw attempt from Asakura before she fishes for a late armbar.

Round three started with an instant shot from Asakura that was reversed again but this time Yamamoto almost sunk in a guillotine. Winding up in guard, Asakura began threatening with submissions while avoiding punches on her back. Finding her way up eventually, Asakura would attempt a takedown to no avail once more. A third in the round would be hit but Yamamoto finds the sweep. However, a triangle gets sunken in by Asakura but it wasn’t tight, Yamamoto escapes as Asakura lets it go. Fight ends with Yamamoto raining down punches.

Result: Yamamoto def Asakura via unanimous decision

After the upset at atomweight, it was time for the division’s champions to collide in their rematch as RIZIN champion, Ayaka Hamasaki defended against Invicta FC champion, Jinh Yu Frey. The two first met three years ago in Invicta when Hamasaki was the champion there as well. Se would win via second-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage due to cut).

It was a technical and sharp start to the action for each as they both landed nicely in spurts. Hamasaki was showing a lot of different looks with her stance switching and in and out movement. Hamasaki began to counter nicely with her punches as the round drew to its end. Frey would find a nice combo that forced Hamasaki to fire back but only to take more shots. A big straight left from Frey would then follow. Kicks were traded prior to the round ending.

Round two started out as a more accelerated version of the first round. Frey’s kicks were really starting to connect. Hamasaki came in to stick a punch which saw her eat a massive counter from Frey. Shortly after she’d land a solid one of her own. Round ends with each searching for big shots.

The last round starts and instantly Hamasaki hits a nice Judo trip to drop into half guard and eventually moves to side control. The fighters would exchange knees from this position. Whose were more damaging is up for debate. Hamasaki turns the position into a crucifix but can’t dish out a crazy amount of damage. Regardless, completely dominant round for the RIZIN champ as the fight comes to an end.

Result: Hamasaki def Frey via unanimous decision

It was onto the RIZIN 16 main event as Tenshin Nasukawa looked to claim the ISKA featherweight title by taking out Martin Blanco.

Blanco got off to a good start with some tight combinations. Tenshin was playing things patiently and really waiting for the right openings. And when he did, Blanco would return the favor. A very heavy body kick would be blocked by Blanco. Round ends.

A very tight exchange would breakout after some opening strikes in the second round’s start. Blanco would be checked for a cut after landing a solid right hand. Tenshin had picked things up significantly now and a thunderous body kick would drop Blanco before a second came seconds after. A knee to the body would finish it for the prodigy.

Result: Tenshin def Blanco via round-two TKO (knee to body)

The results and highlights for the rest of the card can be seen below.

  • Flyweight – 129lbs: Yusaku Nakamura def Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai via unanimous decision

  • Bantamweight – 135lbs: Uoi Fullswing def Kana Hyatt via third-round TKO (punches and soccer kicks)

  • Catchweight – 129lbs: KB – Ryuji Horio def KUNITAKA via unanimous decision
  • Bantamweight: Erson Yamamoto def Tim Eschtruth via first-round KO (elbow)

  • Catchweight – 128lbs: KB – Taiju Shiratori def Hiroto Yamaguchi via unanimous decision

  • Catchweight – 129lbs: Takaki Soya def Namiki Kawahara via first-round KO (punch)

  • Catchweight – 131lbs: KB – Kan Nakamura def ITTO via second-round KO (head kick)

  • Catchweight – 123lbs: KB – Seiki Ueyama def KENGO via first-round TKO

  • Catchweight – 151lbs: KB – YUYA def Tanaka Yuki via first-round TKO

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/2/2019