RIZIN will make their debut in Osaka, Japan on tonight with “RIZIN 19.” The stacked show includes the first round fights from the first round of the Lightweight Grand Prix, among other big matchups. Amid a typhoon in Japan which has made the whole country re-schedule and cancel events, RIZIN 19 went on. Live coverage of the event can be seen here as the night progresses.
Bout 1: Taisei Umei (7-6) vs. Seiki Ueyama (22-11) (123 lbs) (Kickboxing Rules)
The evening started with a kickboxing bout between Taisei Umei and Seiki Ueyama. Both fighters were fighting in their hometown. Ueyama had interesting pants, with one leg ending at the ankle and the other at the knee. In the first round both fighters were landing lots of low leg kicks. Umei had the better punches in the first three minutes.
In the second round the damage from leg kicks on Umei’s legs started to show. The tempo between the fighters stayed fast in the second round.
The third round was even better than the one before, with both fighters throwing everything at each other. Ueyama was really picking Umei apart as the fight was closing out. In the final seconds of the round, Umei was knocked down but endured. He had a bloody nose as the fight concluded. As expected after his performance, Seiki Ueyama got the unanimous decision victory.
Bout 2: Chang Hee Kim (1-4 1 NC) vs. Shoma Shibisai (4-2 1 NC) (Openweight Bout) (MMA Rules)
The next fight was an interesting one as it was a rare openweight bout. The much larger Chang Hee Kim faced Shoma Shibisai, who was smaller but came into the fight with a better record. Both fighters were given flowers before their fight. Early on, Kim went into a standing clinch with Shibisai. Shibisai got good knees in before getting put against the ropes. Shibisai tried for a kimura, taking Kim to the ground. He tapped out only seconds later. Getting a quick kimura victory, Shoma Shibisai bettered the much larger Chang Hee Kim.
Bout 3: Takuma Konishi (22-6-1) vs. HIROYA (38-17) (170 lbs) (Kickboxing Rules)
Switching back to kickboxing again, the next fight was between Takuma Konishi and HIROYA. Konishi’s originally opponent Shintaro Matsukara pulled out earlier this week, with HIROYA being announced as the replacement fight. HIROYA was targeting leg kicks early on. Konishi landed a counter-punch which dropped HIROYA only a minute into the round. He got back up and started to trade punches with Konishi. A knee was landed by Konishi which dropped HIROYA again and called an end to the bout.
Bout 4: Taiga (20-9-1) vs. Taiju Shiratori (17-5-1) (137 lbs) (Kickboxing Rules)
The final kickboxing figbt of the evening saw Taiga face TEAM TEPPEN’s Taiju Shiratori. Tenshin Nasukawa was in attendance to support Shiratori. The height and reach advantage was more than clear. After a minute of fighting, Shiratori landed a punch combination which dropped Taiga. It quickly became target practice for Shiratori.
Early in the first round Taiga took a tumble after getting hit with a hook. It was ruled as a knockdown. After Shiratori continued to land strikes, Taiga went down again making it the third knockdown of the fight.
The third round opened with a shocking overhand knockdown from Taiga. The crowd woke up because of this. Both fighters were connecting with wild punches. The final round was chaotic as both of them were scrambling to do damage. When consulting the scorecards, all three judges gave the fight to Taiju Shiratori. After the fight he asked to be on the New Year’s Eve show.
Bout 5: Marcos Yoshio Souza (8-1 1 NC) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (34-10-2 1 NC) (170 lbs) (MMA Rules)
Before the next fight, Tenshin Nasukawa came into the ring to say that he will fight on New Year’s Eve after healing a hand injury. The next fight saw brother of Roberto Satoshi Souza, Marcos Yoshio Souza face K-Taro Nakamura. This was the RIZIN debut for both fighters. Nakamura finished up his UFC run in his previous fight. Shizuka Sugiyama was shown at ringside supporting Nakamura. Early on, Souza slipped from a spinning back kick and found himself in bottom position on the ground. They got up shortly after with Nakamura landing a strike. Souza was dropped by a punch, with Nakamura doing ground and pound. Nakamura kept hitting Souza until his corner called the end to it. It was clear that K-Taro Nakamura was levels ahead of his opponent in his RIZIN debut. After the fight he had his wife and his kid in the ring with him. He said he wanted to be part of the collaborative card with Bellator on January 29th.
Bout 6: Damien Brown (19-12) vs. Tofiq Musayev (15-3) (RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix First Round) (MMA Rules)
The next four fights on the card were in the first round of the RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix. The first fight was between Damien Brown and Tofiq Musayev. Both of them have won twice in RIZIN before. Brown was hit with a low blow kick in the first minute causing a pause in the fight. They resumed quite quickly. Musayev was landing hard shots in the first round. With a minute left in the round, Brown got smothered with punches in the corner, eventually getting hit enough that the referee stepped in. Moving on to the second round of the Lightweight GP, Tofiq Musayev proved himself again as a dangerous fighter.
Bout 7: Hiroto Uesako (18-7) vs. Luiz Gustavo (9-1) (RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix First Round) (MMA Rules)
The second of four first round fights was Hiroto Uesako facing “The Killer” Luiz Gustavo. Right off the bat, Uesako charged at Gustavo and put the pressure on him. Uesako was dropped by punches with two minutes left in the first round. They got up into a standing clinch in the corner, with Uesako cut open quite badly on the face. The referee called a pause to the fight with Uesako being checked by a doctor. Shortly after, the fight was called off, giving Luiz Gustavo the victory, moving on to the second round. As expected, Uesako was very upset about this.
Bout 8: Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-13-2) vs. Patricky Pitbull (21-8) (RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix First Round) (MMA Rules)
After the first intermission of the night, the Lightweight Grand Prix continued. The next first round fight was between Bellator’s Patricky Pitbull and JMMA veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri. Pitbull stopped takedown attempts early on. Kawajiri ate a hard uppercut while trying for a takedown. Kawajiri caught a jumping knee but was hit with punches on the ground while holding the leg. The referee stepped in, giving Pitbull the win. Completely stunning the Osaka crowd, Patricky Pitbull brought Bellator to the second round of the Lightweight Grand Prix.
Bout 9: Roberto Satoshi Souza (9-0) vs. Johnny Case (26-6-1) (RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix First Round) (MMA Rules)
The final of four Lightweight Grand Prix fights was between Johnny Case and Roberto Satoshi Souza. Early on, Case stuffed a takedown attempt. They went back to stand-up after Case avoided an omoplata. While Souza went down for a takedown he was hit with a punch which dropped him and made him tap out on the ground. It looked like the punch might have went in his eye. Johnny Case became the final fighter to move on to the semi-finals in an anti-climactic finish.
RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals Draw
Before the second intermission of the evening, all four Lightweight Grand Prix winners came out to draw the next round of matchups. There were four translators in the ring (one for Tofiq Musayev, one for Luiz Gustavo and Patricky Pitbull, and one for Johnny Case) since no Japanese fighter moved on to the semi-finals. Here were the second round picks:
- Johnny Case vs. Tofiq Musayev
- Luiz Gustavo vs. Patricky Pitbull
We were told later in the broadcast that the semi-finals and the finals of the tournament will take place on the New Year’s Eve card.
Bout 10: Alexandra Alvare (0-2) vs. RENA (8-3) (112 lbs) (MMA Rules)
After a lengthy second intermission, the next fight was RENA versus Alexandra Alvare. The fight was RENA’s return after losing to Lindsey VanZandt at Bellator 222. Alvare was a short notice replacement for RENA after Shawna Ram pulled out due to a concussion. RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki was in the corner of RENA. RENA dropped and hurt Alvare within seconds, getting an easy victory. While against an extremely easy opponent, RENA had a return to form after a loss in the summer.
Bout 11: Miyuu Yamamoto (5-3) vs. Seo Hee Ham (21-8) (108 lbs) (MMA Rules)
After her RIZIN debut in the summer, Seo Hee Ham returned to face Miyuu Yamamoto. The fight was presumably a #1 contenders matchup for to decide the next opponent for Ayaka Hamasaki. Miyuu walked out to a mashup of songs including KID Yamamoto’s walkout theme. Her son Erson Yamamoto was cornering her for this fight. Yamamoto got a single leg takedown in the second minute of the fight. Ham got up quickly but was pushed back down. They stood back up into a clinch and then returned to stand-up. Ham stopped the next takedown attempt. Yamamoto got another takedown with two minutes left in the round. The referee stood them up due to inactivity with a minute left in the round. The round ended in stand-up.
Ham was able to stop a takedown early in the second round. Her striking was significantly better this round. Yamamoto was taken down and was hit with strikes from bottom position. The fight was paused as Ham went out of the right. Yamamoto got a cut around her ear that was checked out, although they were able to resume. When they resumed, Yamamoto went into a clinch and landed knees. Ham landed a few punches and then stuffed a takedown. With Yamamoto holding her leg, Ham let off some hammerfist punches to the head. They got back to a standing clinch where Yamamoto was thrown down and hit with two soccer kicks to the head. Yamamoto got back up but was shoved down again. Ham was on Yamamoto’s back, throwing hammerfist strikes. The strikes continued unanswered until the referee stepped in and ended it. Ham seemed sad after the stoppage, immediately hugging and bowing to Yamamoto while tearing up. Both of them were very emotional. After the fight, RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki came out and accepted a challenge from Ham. They did a face-off photo as well.
Bellator Japan and RIZIN 20 Announcement
Before the next fight, it was announced that Bellator MMA will do a show on December 29th, and RIZIN 20 will take place on New Year’s Eve. Headlining Bellator Japan will be Rampage Jackson and Fedor Emelianenko. Names shown in the video package were Kyoji Horiguchi, Ayaka Hamasaki and Mikuru Asakura.
Bout 12: Kai Asakura (13-1) vs. Ulka Sasaki (22-7-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Rules)
After the third and final intermission of the evening, the show had it’s co-main event. It was 7 AM EST by the time this fight had come. The co-main event was Kai Asakura versus Ulka Sasaki. Asakura was hot off his huge upset win over Kyoji Horiguchi. Sasaki was coming back after his loss against Shintaro Ishiwatari. His edge over Asakura was really just experience. Kyoji Horiguchi was celebrating his birthday, watching the fight at ringside. As expected, Mikuru Asakura was in the corner of his brother Kai. The fight was chaotic from the start, with Sasaki being dropped in the first 20 seconds. Asakura started to land knees and kicks to a grounded Sasaki. The referee paused the fight to check out Sasaki, who had a broken jaw. Obviously due to the injury the fight was stopped. In under a minute, Kai Asakura added another W to his record, priming himself for a title fight with Horiguchi. After the fight, Horiguchi came into the ring and accepted a fight against Asakura.
Bout 13: Fabio Maldonado (25-13) vs. Jiri Prochazka (24-3-1) (220 lbs) (MMA Rules)
The main event of the evening was Fabio Maldonado facing RIZIN Light Heavyweight Champion Jiri Prochazka in a non-championship bout. Prochazka started to clip Maldonado in the second mi nute of the fight. Cornered, Maldonado was completely covering up and letting Prochazka swing away. Shortly after being dropped by punches, the referee came in and ended it, giving Prochazka the win. In a completely one-sided bout, Jiri Prochazka gave himself his second win of the year.
RIZIN’s next event will be on December 29th, collaborating with Bellator for the promotion’s first show in Japan. After that, RIZIN will hold the traditional New Year’s Eve show. More updates will come in the next couple of months for the matchups on those shows.