Ayaka Hamasaki, Jinh Yu Frey to fight for RIZIN Atomweight Championship at RIZIN 16
Despite being just over a month away, RIZIN 16 has had no fights officially announced.
Though still technically true, it appears as if we have our first fight added to the card.
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, Jinh Yu Frey, will face RIZIN champ Ayaka Hamasaki at RIZIN 16. The bout will be for Hamasaki’s super atomweight title.
I have further confirmed the report with sources, and an announcement is expected within the next week or so.
Jinh Yu Frey (8-3) is an undeniable physical specimen, and a fan-favorite to many. She is riding a two-fight win streak, defeating Minna Grusander twice in 2018 by way of decision.
Their first meeting was a unanimous decision win that won Frey the vacant Invicta FC Atomweight Championship. The two rematched five months later, and Jinh Yu successfully defended. Prior to this she challenged for ROAD FC gold and was quickly finished by Seo Hee Ham.
Though she won the Invicta FC title last year, that was not her first shot at gold in the promotion. No, that came way back in 2016 when she challenged Ayaka Hamasaki and lost the fight in round two thanks to a cut.
Nearly three years later, she gets a shot at revenge at RIZIN 16.
Ayaka Hamasaki (17-2) has made it hard to deny her status as the best atomweight fighter on the planet.
A former Invicta FC and JEWELS champion, Hamasaki is a perfect 3-0 since signing with RIZIN in 2018. In her debut she had a very competitive fight with a game Alyssa Garcia and has appeared unstoppable ever since. Dominating and submitting DEEP JEWELS champion Mina Kurobe before doing the same to RIZIN star Kanna Asakura to win the inaugural RIZIN Super Atomweight Championship on NYE at RIZIN 14.
Despite being 37-years-old, and in a division full of young, hungry finishers, Ayaka Hamasaki is in prime form.
RIZIN 16 is slated to go down on June 2, live from the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan. Though no fights have been made official, Tenshin Nasukawa, Kanna Asakura, Kai Asakura, and Ayaka Hamasaki appeared in the first promotional video for the event.
Due to the news a few months back regarding Kanako Murata and Invicta FC, it should come as no surprise to see them working together to make this Hamasaki vs. Frey rematch happen!