Five reasons to watch RIZIN LANDMARK 5 in Yoyogi

RIZIN gives us a smaller show packed with action bouts before their larger show next week.

By: Victor Rodriguez | 1 month ago
Five reasons to watch RIZIN LANDMARK 5 in Yoyogi

RIZIN always seems to do things differently. Instead of loading up a single megashow, they’ve split things up to have a very solid card this week and another one next week. Under their LANDMARK banner, we have a lot to look forward to.

The most notable thing about this event is the action-first matchmaking on display. Some of these may not be fighters fans will be too familiar with, but that’s what this preview is for. To get everyone up to speed. No kickboxing bouts will be taking place on this one, either. It’s all MMA.

The women’s fights are nuts

Wrestler Kanna Asakura (19-7) is always a tough fighter to beat and is a marvel on the ground. Mei Yamaguchi (21-14, 1 draw) is a firecracker and had one of the best fights in ONE’s history when she fought Angela Lee in 2016 and another banger in their rematch. Asakura & Yamaguchi will collide at RIZIN LANDMARK 5 in a battle of scrambly wrestlers that never go for the lay-n-pray victory.

Also on the card, Claire Lopez—a dangerous French striker who’s shown some fun submission skills as she looks to become more well-rounded. She’s up against Shootbox queen Rena Kubota (13-4), who has delivered some wild finishes in her MMA career. Both of these are actually really great matches and bringing Lopez and Yamaguchi into the RIZIN fold is a massive plus.

Mikuru Asakura is back!

Mikuru Asakura (16-3) remains one of the pillars of RIZIN’s roster, for good reason. Returning for the first time since his exhibition bout against Floyd Mayweather back in September, the action fighter is one of the most fun guys in a RIZIN ring or cage. He’s in a stellar match against Juntarou Ushiku (22-9, 1 draw), the fomer RIZIN featherweight champ. He lost that belt to current champ Kleber Koike Erbst in October, snapping a four-fight winning streak. This should be a very exciting battle.

Luiz Gustavo is also back!

Wanderlei Silva protégé Luiz Gustavo (12-2) is always fun. The extraordinary striker is scheduled to meet Karelin Lift enthusias Koji Takeda (15-4), who is roughly as strong as a Peterbilt truck. But he’s not just a wrestler, he’s a madman on the feet and not a fan of waiting patiently. I cannot understate how well-matched this event is, and this card is further proof.

Ren Hiramoto is looking to greatness

Ren Hiramoto may only have an MMA record of 2-2, but he’s got a sensational set of performances in kickboxing. He’s dedicated himself to MMA more than ever now, and is not taking any prisoners. It’s not going to be a cakewalk. He’s got the unfortunate task of facing Shooto veteran Yutaka Saito (20-7, 2 draws), who aside from being quite experienced, has a mean streak to his game.

Maybe Hiramoto keeps it upright for as long as he needs to or perhaps he’s got his overall MMA game improved to the point where he’ll be able to defend well and get back to his bread and butter. Unless he’s got some other surprise in store, that is. Hiramoto has star power, and Saito is a talent to watch any time he steps into the ring or cage.

UFC vets in the building

Roque Martinez (16-8, 2 draws) will also make an appearance opposite Tsuyoshi Sudario (6-2), whose mentor is the legendary Enson Inoue. Sudario has some brutal finishes on his record, and Roque is just an affable chunky boi that loves to throw hands. Plus, Masanori Kanehara (29-14, 5 draws) may not be a name a lot of younger fans remember, but he’s a UFC vet that’s gone on to mixed success elsewhere. The 40-year-old will meet 22-year-old Sora Yamamoto (16-8, 2 draws), who somehow has been fighting since 2016.

You can check out the weigh-ins here:

RIZIN LANDMARK 5 will be available for purchase over at, and as an added bonus they’ve bundled the card with next week’s RIZIN 42 card. This event starts on Saturday night into Sunday morning starting at 3:00am EST for those of us stateside.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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