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.
View this post on Instagram
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.”
RIZIN MMAルール 66.0kg
1R 2分59秒 ノーコンテスト
— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) June 24, 2023
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.