RIZIN 18 Recap: Kai Asakura Upsets Kyoji Horiguchi

Kai Asakura defied the odds and defeated Kyoji Horiguchi in the first round. Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF.
Kai Asakura defied the odds and defeated Kyoji Horiguchi in the first round. Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF.

In what might be the MMA upset of the year, Kai Asakura (13-1) defeated Bellator and RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi (28-3) in 1:07 of the first round by KO in a non-title fight. Asakura tagged Horiguchi with a right cross that rocked him. Horiguchi tried to create distance by getting away from Asakura but Asakura swarmed him. He delivered punches and a knee to Horiguchi. As Horiguchi tried to get away, Asakura connected with a right hook that sent Horiguchi to the canvas and the ref waved off the fight. This is the first MMA loss for Kyoji Horiguchi since he lost to Demetrious Johnson back in the UFC in April 2015.

Ayaka Hamasaki got the first round submission win over Amp the Rocket. Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF.

Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Amp the Rocket

In the co-main event, RIZIN super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2) submitted Thailand’s Amp the Rocket (3-2) in the first round 3:19 via armbar in a non-title match. Immediately as the fight began Amp took down and got Hamasaki’s back. Hamasaki defended against the rear-naked choke and reversed and got mount on Amp. Amp tried to get out from bottom but Hamasaki locked in an armbar for the win.

John Wayne Parr did not get his 100th win in Japan as he lost to Danilo Zanolini by split decision. Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF.

John Wayne Parr vs. Danilo Zanolini

John Wayne Parr (99-34-1) returned to Japan with much fanfare with this fight as it was his potential 100th kickboxing win. The Australian kickboxer did not get that opportunity as Brazilian Danilo Zanolini (42-12) bested Parr with a spilt decision win in a very close contest. Both fighters were incredibly technical and fast with their combos. Zanolini managed to edge out Parr in connecting with strikes, rocking him in the second round, and causing more visible damage.

Hiroto Uesako defeated Yves Landu to qualify for the lightweight grand prix. Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF.

Other Notable Fights

Other notable wins that happened were Justin Scoggins (12-6) snapping his four-fight losing streak getting a unanimous decision win over Kazuma Sone (23-19). Former UFC fighter Jarred Brooks (14-2, 1 NC) had the shortest fight of the night when an accidental headbutt caused a gash on opponent Haruo Ochi’s (19-7-2, 1 NC) forehead 11 seconds of the first round. The fight was declared a no contest. Hiroto Uesako (16-7) finished France’s Yves Landu (15-8) in the second round due to TKO. He will advance in the Lightweigth Grand Prix. Kanna Asakura (15-4) got back into the RIZIN super atomweight winning column after two back to back loses. She beat Alesha Zappitella (5-2) in a very close fight by split decision.

Full Results

Kai Asakura def. Kyoji Horiguchi 1st round 1:07 by KO (punches)

Ayaka Hamasaki def. Amp the Rocket 1st round 3:20 by submission (armbar)

Victor Henry def. Trent Girdham 3rd round 2:14 by submission (inverted triangle choke)

Manel Kape def. Takeya Mizugaki 2nd round 1:35 by KO (punch)

(Kickboxing) Danilo Zanolini def. John Wayne Parr by split decision

Kanna Asakura def. Alesha Zappitella by split decision

Haruo Ochi and Jarred Brooks went to a no contest due to an accidental headbutt

Hiroto Uesako def. Yves Landu 2nd round 4:45 by TKO (punches)

Justin Scoggins def. Kazuma Sone by unanimous decision

Takaki Soya def. Yutaro Muramoto 2nd round 1:27 by TKO (punches)

Ai Shimizu def. Tabatha Watkins by unanimous decision

(Kickboxing) Kazuki Osaki def. Shota Takiya by unanimous decision

(Kickboxing) Ryuji Horio def. Uchu Sakurai by unanimous decision

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