Chihiro Suzuki’s path to the featherweight title was fortunate. He was submitted by reigning champion Koike Kleber but awarded the belt because his opponent had missed weight.

Since then Suzuki has looked unstoppable and has now won eight in a row, not including the ‘no contest’ against Eber,  after stopping Masanori Kanehara at Rizin 46 yesterday. All of those victories have come inside the distance and this one was no exception.

Kanehara looked for an early takedown and needed time to recover after receiving a low blow. After the break he elected to strike with Suzuki which proved to be a costly mistake.

The champion hurt him with a left hook to the body followed by a right to the head. He landed more punches and knees as Kanehara crumpled to the floor.

Kanehara tried to counter with an armbar but Suzuki’s ground and pound was relentless and the referee called off the contest at the 4:28 mark. The winner improves to 13-3-0-1 and defends his featherweight belt for the first time while his opponent drops to 31-14-5.

Best of the rest

The rest of the card had a Japan vs. Korea theme. Soo Chul Kim (22-7-1)was one of the big winners, the ONE Championship and Road FC veteran knocked out Juntaro Ushiku (17-13-1) with a left hook just seconds into the second round.

In the co-main event wrestling star Shinobu Ota (6-3) scored a hard fought decision win over former featherweight champion Juntaro Ushiku (23-11-1) in a bantamweight bout.

Rizin 46, Tokyo, April 29th
Chihiro Suzuki def. Masanori Kanehara via TKO (Punches) at 4:28 of R1
Shinobu Ota def. Juntaro Ushiku via Decision (Unanimous)
Soo-Chul Kim def. Taichi Nakajima via KO (Punches) at 0:06 of R2
Makoto Takahashi def. Lee Jung-Hyun via Submission (Arm-triangle choke) at 4:29 of R1
Kazuma Kuramoto def. Yang Ji-Yong via Decision (Split)
BeyNoah def. Yusaku Inoue via Decision (Unanimous)
Viktor Kolesnik def. Yoshiki Nakahara via Decision (Unanimous)
Bare knuckle: Tatsuki Shinotsuka def. Justyn Martinez via KO (Punch) at 1:33 of R1
Ilkhom Nazimov def. Sora Yamamoto via TKO (Elbows and punches) at 3:39 of R2
Ryo Takagi def. Taisei Nishitani via KO (Punch) at 4:0o of R1