Rizin Landmark 1 took place yesterday at an underground venue in Tokyo without a live audience. The event was headlined by one of the promotion’s marque stars with Mikuru Asakura taking on Kyohei Hagiwara.
In the opening round Asakura started to fire off inside left kicks from the southpaw stance. Hagiwara replied with a right kick to the midsection and started to press forwards only to get taken down.
Hagiwara briefly found himself on his back but was able to reverse the position. He had Asakura’s head trapped in his arms but the YouTuber was able to explode back to his feet, pick him up and slam him down.
At the start of the second Hagiwara tried to keep Asakura at bay with right kicks but was soon taken down again. He was forced to spend the remainder of the round on the defensive, fighting off rear naked choke attempts.
At the start of the final round Asakura scored with a right hook and a left kick before taking the fight to the ground for the third time. He landed a series of knees to his grounded opponent and blood started to flow from a cut on his face.
All three judges scored the contest in favour of Asakura. He improves to 15-3 while his opponent drops to 4-4 and afterwards he called for rematches with former foes Kleber Koike Erbst and Yutaka Saito.
Best of the rest
Mazakazu Imanari (39-20) got back to winning ways with a trademark submission win. He finished Takeshi Kasugai (26-9) with an armbar in the opening round.
It was a similar outcome for Shooto Watanabe (23-6) who, like Imanari, was eliminated in the opening round of the bantamweight Grand Prix. He submitted Koki Naito (9-6) with a D’Arce choke in the opening round.