While all eyes were on Floyd Mayweather and his fight with Mikuru Asakura at Super Rizin there was an entire card of fights in the afternoon at the Saitama Super Arena. The main event featured Kyoji Horiguchi who was taking on Yuto Hokamura in a bantamweight bout.
The Rizin 38 headliner saw Horiguchi return to the promotion where he has twice held the bantamweight belt. He was taking on ‘Kintaro’ who lived up to bis bad boy image by declining to touch gloves at the start of the fight.
There was very little action during the first minute with both men keeping their range but Horiguchi ate a straight left from the southpaw. He tried to answer with a step in right knee but was dropped by another perfectly timed straight left hand.
The punch connected clean with the chin of the former champion who was somehow able to bounced back up immediately. But Horiguchi had learned his lesson and immediately looked to get the fight down, timing a knee attempt from Hokamura to secure his first takedown of the fight.
He moved swiftly into side control before taking his opponent’s back but Hokamura was able to roll out. With both fighters back on their feet ‘Kintaro’ landed a solid looking knee to his opponent’s midsection.
Horiguchi responded with a hard inside low kick as both men looked to land head kicks towards the end of the round. Early in the second he shot for a takedown and put Hokamura on his back with more than four minutes remaining in the round.
He landed some punches from side control before establishing mount. From there Horiguchi threw some elbows and eventually sank in a tight arm triangle choke.
Seconds later Kintaro was asleep with the referee quickly recognizing that he was unconscious and stepping in to stop the fight. The finish came at the 2:59 mark and sees the former champion improve to 30-5 while his opponent drops to 14-12.
Best of the rest
Seika Izawa (8-0) will face Si Woo Park (9-4) in the super atomweight Grand Prix final. The former submitted Anastasiya Svetkivska (2-2) in the second round while the latter claimed a decision win over Ayaka Hamasaki (24-6), making it three wins out of three against the former champion.