The biggest cross-over promotional show in MMA is a great way to end the year. And hours before 2023 hits, you probably got some party plans and some alcoholic drinks to ring in the new year. In case you want to start imbibing a bit early, a great way to start is while watching Rizin 40. Japanese combat sports is a unique specimen that has its quirks and you can have fun with this drinking game while watching the fights. As always, drink responsibly and respect your local laws when it comes to alcoholic purchases.
A Successful Soccer Kick to the Head
Rizin rules allows kicks and knees to an opponent who is down the ground. Such offense is banned under unified rules but that’s what makes Rizin unique. A number of the Bellator fighters have said they are looking forward to throwing legal soccer kicks for the first time. If a successful soccer kick strikes the head, yell “GOALLLL!” and drink!
Flowers Given to the Fighters
I am not sure the basis for why certain fighters are given flowers and others are not. One of the biggest scandals in combat sports this year was when a dignitary was invited to hand Floyd Mayweather some flowers before his match against Mikuru Asakura. Instead, he dropped them at his feet presumably as a showcase of disrespect. If you see that beautiful bouquet come out, down another!
If a Japanese Fighter Wins, They Introduce Themselves by Name in the Post Fight
A lot of Japanese fighters are overly respectful. During press conferences, most will say “my name is so and so, I am from so and so, please look forward to my fight.” Even the most famous of fighters will still introduce themselves in a post-fight interview. So if a Japanese fighter wins and is handed a mic and they introduce themselves… pour!
During Koji Takeda vs Gadzhi Rabandov, Takeda Hits a Suplex
If this is your first time seeing Koji Takeda, he loves sending his opponents on a one-way ticket to Suplex City. A Greco-Roman wrestler, he has hit one in almost all of his matches. It will be interesting to see if he can do that to his sambo-based opponent Gadzhi Rabadanov. If he can, good on him. For you, suplex that drink into your mouth!
Anytime a Fighter Gets Caught in the Ring Ropes
Most MMA fans are used to seeing fighters fight in a cage. This might be the first time you are seeing MMA in a ring. Personally, I think it’s a much cooler atmosphere and aesthetic. The cage is generic, sterile, and lifeless. A ring stands out and just makes it feel like a bigger deal. It’s not all roses though. Sometimes fighters get a foot, hand, head, or their body caught in the ropes. When that happens, officials outside will sometimes push the fighter’s limb out of that predicament. If a fighter gets caught, catch another pour!
Every Time ‘Big’ John on Commentary Mentions “Lactic Acid”
‘Big’ John McCarthy is very divisive with viewers with his commentary. Some of the criticism is deserved and the rest is extremely overblown. But one common occurrence with his commentary is that whenever a move requires a lot of energy or power, he will mention “lactic acid” as a strong factor hindering the fighter. While no doubt there is some truth probably to it, he mentions it A LOT. One similar comparison is when Joe Rogan screams “HE TAGGED HIM!” with a simple weak jab. If you hear Big John bring up lactic acid, get ready for another one!
Ren Hiramoto Flips the Bird
Ren Hiramoto is the bad boy of Rizin. He talks trash to his opponents, loves tattoos, and creating memes of Mikuru Asakura. One thing he does in all his fights is finding a unique way to tell his opponents they are number one. He will no doubt do the same to his mystery opponent once they are revealed. So if that middle finger goes up, a drink goes down!
Anytime Rizin is Mispronounced as “Risen”
Rizin has been operating since 2015. You can find how to pronounce the name correctly in fighter videos, interviews, and almost any other source. But for some reason, non-Japanese fighters still mispronounce it as “Risen” instead of “Rise-in.” And it happened numerous times during the pre-fight media call by Juan Archuleta and A.J. McKee and with other foreign fighters in the past. And it is bound to happen on fight night again! So if you hear “Risen,” roll your eyes and drink!
Referee Ryogaku Wada yells “ACTION!”
One of the most underrated referees in combat sports is Ryogaku Wada. A former fighter himself, he is instantly recognizable as the bald-headed referee with a goatee. He is also known for demanding action. If fighters are deliberately stalling and not advancing, not engaging, or caught in a neutral position he will scream “ACTION!” After about two times he will stand up and restart the two. If you hear “ACTION!” get ready to DRINK!
When a Ref Throws Up a Yellow and/or Red Card
Unlike the referees in the UFC and Bellator, the referees in Rizin are a lot more consistent when it comes to rule-breaking and lack of action. Usually, the referee will give a stern verbal warning for excessive grabbing of the ropes, eye pokes, low blows, and other fouls. If it happens again, the ref will bestow the fighter with a yellow card. If it happens again, a red card. The cards penalize the fighter financially as they will lose a portion of their purse and the judges will also consider that in their scorecards. If you see that card go up, up another shot goes!