Ayaka Hamasaki wants to put on an entertaining performance at Rizin 26
Ayaka Hamasaki is one of the most decorated female fighters in the history of Japanese MMA. She is the two time Rizin super atomweight champion and the first defence of her second reign as queen of the division will be this Sunday.
“I’m not too focused on being the main event, but I feel obligated to put on an entertaining performance,” Hamasaki said.
The first fight with Asakura took place at Rizin 14 on New Year’s Eve in 2018. It ended with a dominant finish from Hamasaki.
The veteran showcased her grappling prowess with authority, working from side control before expertly locking in the armbar to submit her opponent in the second round. Asakura was just 21 years old at the time.
Asakura is riding a four-fight winning streak. Despite the good form, Hamasaki sees nothing in her opponent’s recent performances that would cause her concern,
“There has been nothing significant about her past four performances,” Hamasaki said.
As far as her own form is concerned, Hamasaki is on a two-fight winning streak with both victories coming by way of submission. The most recent of which, was a brilliant leg-scissors choke as she won the vacant title against Miyuu Yamamoto at Rizin 26.
Hamasaki does have some warm words for Yamamoto,
“She is a fighter I have been looking up to for all these years, so I was glad I got to share time with her in the ring,” she said.
Hamasaki is a former atomweight champion in Invicta FC where she became the first Asian to win a title with the promotion. Almost half of her wins have come via submission and she expects that to be the outcome of her rematch with Asakura.
“Absolutely. You can look forward to it. I have been working on my striking a lot. I don’t know what Asakura has been working on, but I plan to make a statement by dominating her even more.”
Early in her career, Hamasaki won a 115lbs tournament in Deep-Jewels. In what was only her fourth professional fight, she won a unanimous decision against Seo Hee Ham to claim the title.
Her first reign as Rizin champion was ended by the same opponent and a trilogy bout looked on the cards. But the Korean decided to sign for ONE Championship and Hamasaki says she has moved on,
“I think it’s normal for a fighter to decide to take a more lucrative deal, so I don’t think anything of the situation. I felt strongly about the rematch after the loss, but right now I really don’t care too much for it,” said Hamasaki.
Hamasaki has racked up 21 professional victories winning multiple titles and tournaments in the process. But she is still not satisfied and feels there is more to achieve,
“I have not accomplished something to make me feel proud yet. I want to keep defending my belt and win all the fights that are presented to me.”