The main event of Rizin 43 was effectively rendered meaningless when Kleber Koike came in o.4kgs above the featherweight limit at Friday’s weigh ins. The Brazilian submitted Chihiro Suzuki in the opening round but it will go down as a no contest due to a bizarre loophole in the promotion’s rules.

When Koike missed weight by 400 grams fans were informed that the fight would still go ahead but the Brazilian could not win. It would either end in victory for Suzuki or a no contest.

As is standard practice in these situations the title was only on the line for the challenger. But calling a fight that had a clear winner a no contest because one fighter was 0.4kgs too heavy will leave a sour taste in the mouth of many fans.

No doubt

Had Suzuki won the belt then Koike coming in slightly overweight would have been a footnote in history. But the Japanese fighter never looked like winning and it was an easy afternoon’s work for the former champion.

Suzuki looked to land low kicks early on but Koike was able to secure a single leg and take him down. From there he moved into mount and secured an armbar with the tap coming at the 2:59 mark.

With the win that was ruled a no contest Koike’s record moves to 31-6-1-1. Meanwhile Suzuki is now at 10-3-0-1 but there is no doubt as to who the best fighter in the division is after this performance.

Afterwards Koike, who also lost 20% of his purse, addressed the crowd in Japanese and apologized profusely,

“I didn’t make the weight, sorry. It’s so embarrassing that I couldn’t do it. I’m crying yesterday (but) God helped me today and I won.”

Best of the rest

In the co-main event Yusuke Yachi (25-13) extended his winning streak to two with a submission win over submit Zach Zane (15-15) in their lightweight fight. The finish came at the 2:50 mark in the opening round and was the sixth stoppage loss in a row for the Hawaiian.

Rizin 43, Sapporo, June 24th
Kleber Koike def. Chihiro Suzuki via Submission (Armbar) at 2:59 in Round 1 (Fight ruled a no contest)
Yusuke Yachi def. Zach Zane via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:50 in Round 1
Mikio Ueda def. Hideki Sekine via TKO (Strikes) at 0:22 in Round 1
Hiroaki Suzuki def. Taisei Nishitani via TKO (Strikes) at 0:56 in Round 1
Kickboxing: Hiroki Suzuki def. Genji Umeno via KO (Flying Knee) at 2:34 in Round 2
Kickboxing: Minoru Kimura def. Daryl Lokoku via KO (Left Hook) at 1:09 in Round 1
Yuta Kubo def. Takeaki Kinoshita via split decision
Strawweight: Saori Oshima def. Haruka Hasegawa via Submission, Armlock at 1:16 in Round 1
Suguru Nii def. Tateo Iida via TKO (Strikes) at 2:32 in Round 1
Tetsuya Seki def. Raiki Endo via unanimous decision
Joji Goto def. Trent Girdham via Submission (Spine Lock) at 2:34 in Round 2
Aoi Kuriyama def. Marina Kumagai via TKO, Strikes at 2:48 in Round 1
Kickboxing: Kensei Yamakawa def. Ryoga Hirano via TKO (Strikes) at 1:22 in Round 2
Toshiki Watanabe def. Kento Azumi via Submission, Kneebar (RD 1)
Suguru Hayasaka def. Daiki Maruyama via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 3:33 in Round 1
Kickboxing: Aito def. Ryuya Koide via TKO (Punches) at 1:55 in Round 1
Kickboxing: Syouki Hoshikubo def. Ganbare Furukawakun via Decision (Unanimous) (Fight ruled a no contest)