Kai Asakura stopped Yuki Motoya in the third round to earn at Rizin 42. He was returning to the ring after a year long absence but got back to winning ways at the Ariaka Arena and earned himself a bantamweight title shot in the process.
The warning signs were there for Motoya when Asakura landed a flying knee in the opening round. Another knee strayed low but he was already starting to score regularly with straight punches and low kicks.
At the start of the second stanza Motoya finally got his takedown. Asakura popped back up only to be taken down again and he spent the majority of the round defending, with his striking skills effectively neutralized.
Motoya employed a similar gameplan in the final round and briefly had his opponent’s back with both men clinching in the corner of the ring. They separated and exchanged strikes but it was Asakura who got the better of the trade with a step in left knee to the midsection finishing the fight.
The end came at the 2:25 mark and sees Asakura improve to 20-4 and earn a title shot against Juan Archuleta. Motoya drops to 33-11 after seeing his four fight winning streak snapped.
— 朝倉 海 Kai Asakura (@kai_1031_) May 6, 2023
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Archuleta (28-4) earned his shot at the vacant belt by beating Naoki Inoue (16-4). This fight provided some back and forth grappling exchanges but it was the South American who got the better of them.
Buakaw Banchamek returned to Jaoan, the sight of his greatest triumphs. The two time K-1 Max winner faced fellow veteran Rukiya Anpo in a kickboxing bout that was ruled a draw.
John Dodson (24-13) looks to be in pole position for a shot at the inaugural Rizin flyweight title. He beat Tatsuki Saomoto (18-3) and could be set to face fellow UFC veteran Kyoji Horiguchi in a title fight next.