A rivalry is developing between the Asakura brothers and Bonsai Jiu Jitsu. It is the latter team that has the upper hand at the moment but that is something Kai Asakura is desperate to change.

Having watched his brother Mikuru Asakura get submitted by Kleber Koike Erbst he wants revenge. Next up for the former bantamweight champion is Alan Yamaniha at Rizin 30.

It is the quarter final of the Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix. The Brazilian had plenty to say in the buildup to the fight which goes down on September 19th at the Saitama Super Arena but Asakura was dismissive,

“The weakest of them all is barking and I plan to teach him a lesson by smashing his face in.”

Kai Asakura punches Shoji Maruyama 2

Devastating defeat

He thinks Yamaniha is not of the same calibre as his teammates Roberto de Souza and Koike Erbst. Seeing his brother lose to the former at Rizin 28 clearly hurt,

“It was devastating, I was more mortified than me losing a fight. My brothers the head of our team, I felt like the whole team was defeated.”

His opponent is a BJJ black belt but Asakura does not think the Brazilian will even be able to take him down,

“I’ve fought 20 fights so far and have never been taken to the ground. I’m pretty sure I’m better than him on the ground.”

Kai Asakura punches Hiromasa Ogikubo 2

Extremely popular

While he might have lost his bantamweight title to the recently departed Kyoji Horiguchi the former champion has a fan friendly style that has made him extremely popular. He is also a YouTube star but believes it is his aggressive mentality which makes him such a hit with the fans,

“I go in there and to try to finish the fight until the last second.”

You get the impression that things have got personal between Asakura and Yamaniha. The Japanese fighter is always aggressive but with his family’s pride at stake he will be taking things to a whole new level at Rizin 30.