Asian MMA

Kanna Asakura, Miyuu Yamamoto, Roque Martinez among new RIZIN 16 additions

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Kanna Asakura, Miyuu Yamamoto, Roque Martinez among new RIZIN 16 additions.

Following the announcement of Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Jinh Yu Frey, the RIZIN 16 fight card has continued to take shape with the addition of four new bouts.

Former title-challenger and grand-prix champion, Kanna Asakura will look to win her second-straight against a surging Miyuu Yamamoto. As Roque Martinez will look to bounce back from the Cro Cop loss against PFL veteran Jake Heun.

Also, two kickboxing bouts. Including the return of Kizaemon Saiga.

Kanna Asakura vs. Miyuu Yamamoto

At just 21-years-old, Kanna Asakura (14-3) has already cemented herself as one of the top stars in RIZIN Fighting Federation. The wrestling ace popularized herself by defeating Rena Kubota in 2017 to win the RIZIN Atomweight Grand-Prix Championship.

RENA was given an immediate rematch, however, and Asakura reigned supreme once again. This gave her a much-deserved shot at inaugural atomweight gold. Sadly, Kanna Asakura was submitted by arguably the best atomweight ever, Ayaka Hamasaki, at RIZIN 14 on NYE.

Since this loss, the 21-year-old successfully defeated DEEP title-holder Tomo Maesawa in dominant fashion.

At 44-years-old, Miyuu Yamamoto (4-3) appears better than ever and is on the best run of her MMA career. After a highly-successful amateur wrestling run, Yamamoto made her MMA debut in 2016 and underwhelmed in her first two outings. Losing to Rena Kubota and Andy Nguyen.

She followed this up with an easy win against Cassie Robb before losing once again, this time against Irene Cabello. Since that loss in 2017, Miyuu Yamamoto has won three-straight. This includes wins against Saori Ishioka, Mika Nagano, as well as Andy Nguyen, who previously defeated her.

Roque Martinez vs. Jake Heun

Roque Martinez (13-4-2) is the reigning, defending DEEP Megaton Champion who continually impresses in both DEEP and RIZIN.

Fighting out of Guam, the heavy-hitter made his RIZIN debut in 2017 and quickly defeated K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner. That impressive showing was followed by a TKO win in a brawl against Samurai Mark Hunt.

At RIZIN 13, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime as he faced Mirko Cro Cop. Despite losing due to an early cut caused by an elbow, Martinez was looking great. Most recently, Martinez returned to DEEP and defended his title with a stoppage victory against Ryo Sakai.

Jake Heun (12-9) is a consistently impressive wrestler out of Alaska, fighting out of American Top Team.

The TUF, WSOF, and PFL veteran made his RIZIN debut last year. Unfortunately for him, it was against one of the best fighters in the promotion’s history; Jiri Prochazka.

Heun lost his debut against Prochazka but followed it up with a first-round finish of Mika Faavale in Alaska FC. Most recently, the “Honey Badger” lost a bout in Russia.

Finally, the two confirmed kickboxing bouts.

Ittou will face Kan Nakamura as the veteran Kizaemon Saiga returns against the heavy-handed Kunitaka.

RIZIN 16 will take place on June 2 live from the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan.

These four bouts, along with the super atomweight title fight, are the first announced for the card.

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