Mikuru Asakura back in title contention | RIZIN LANDMARK 5 results and video

Some of the biggest takeaways from RIZIN LANDMARK 5.

By: Jack Wannan | 1 month ago
Mikuru Asakura back in title contention | RIZIN LANDMARK 5 results and video
Yutaka Saito's victory over Ren Hiramoto was part of the RIZIN LANDMARK 5 double main event billing | RIZIN FF

RIZIN presented only nine fights this weekend, although their card from the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan included numerous big names in the promotion.

RIZIN LANDMARK 5 provided many big results for the Japanese MMA scene. And unlike most RIZIN cards, it took place in a cage instead of a ring – this being the theme of every RIZIN LANDMARK show. The show took place on early Saturday morning for those in North America. If you weren’t able to catch the show, here’s what you missed.

Asakura, Saito prevail in double main event

Mikuru Asakura and Yutaka Saito picked up victories at featherweight in their respective bouts at Saturday’s double main event billing. Both of their wins came from fights that were low in action and never neared a finish.

Asakura went the distance against Juntarou Ushiku, getting a victory after spending a large part of the fight in full guard.

Ushiku deployed an interesting tactic in the fight that didn’t work out for him: he clinched and then pulled guard on Asakura in all three rounds of the bout. Ushiku would then land short punches periodically while on his back.

In the RIZIN LANDMARK 5 main event, Asakura was appearing in MMA for the first time in over a year. His last MMA fight was a win over the aforementioned Saito on New Year’s Eve 2021. He fought in exhibition boxing once since then, getting stopped by Floyd Mayweather last summer.

Ushiku dropped his RIZIN Featherweight Championship to Kleber Koike in his prior MMA bout.

Former champion Saito picked up a close decision win over Ren Hiramoto, ending the talent’s sole winning streak in MMA.

Saito’s victory came from a fight that saw both fighters struggle with applying damage or control for large portions of the bout.

Saito put Hiramoto against the cage for large portions of the fight, stalling the contest. Exchanges on the feet were, at times, a stalemate, as neither fighter had a high output of strikes.

Hiramoto was able to stop many takedown attempts, and at one point even briefly get Saito to the canvas in a reversal of a takedown attempt.

A mostly pro-Hiramoto crowd was loud throughout the fight and were chanting and cheering as the scorecards were dramatically revealed after the bout.

Saito arguably had his back up against the wall heading into this weekend. He came into this fight with the goal of snapping a long losing streak in RIZIN, having lost a trio of fights prior to this bout.

Hiramoto picked up his first MMA victory last year, overcoming Hiroaki Suzuki in a split decision result. He followed that up in November with a victory over former DEEP Impact Lightweight Champion Satoshi Yamasu.

Asakura gets past veteran Yamaguchi

Kanna Asakura returned to her winning ways against veteran Mei Yamaguchi, using her dominance on the ground to walk away with a comfortable unanimous decision victory.

Asakura got Yamaguchi to the canvas in all three rounds of the fight, using these positions to land lots of punches and also look for submissions.

The victorious Asakura gained prominence as a pro in RIZIN but found herself struggling in recent years. After losing three of her last five, Asakura started to talk about possibly retiring from MMA. But after winning on Saturday, the 25-year-old said she gained back all of the “courage and confidence” that she had previously lost.

Yamaguchi, who was billed by her alias “V.V Mei” for this fight, was competing for the first time since a lengthy 12-fight stint in ONE Championship. The MMA veteran has now suffered four consecutive losses.

RENA struggles in return

RIZIN star RENA had a tough return to action this weekend, getting dominated and eventually submitted by Combate Global talent Claire Lopez.

Lopez wrapped up her strong performance with a rare kneebar submission in the final minute of the fight. Prior to this moment, she gained a lead in the fight by putting together strikes on the feet and making RENA defend submission attempts on the ground.

A punch from Lopez hurt RENA just moments into the fight started. RENA looked for an armbar later in the round as the fight hit the ground, but Lopez utilized RIZIN’s ruleset, landing kicks to RENA’s head while in this position.

RENA is arguably the most popular woman on RIZIN’s roster, having maintained a large following in the sport for years. She came over to MMA back in 2016 after previously finding success in Shoot Boxing. Her last fight was in the 2022 RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals, where she overcame Anastasiya Svetkivska on scorecards. She later pulled out of the tournament due to injury.

Lopez had less experience than RENA, having entered this bout with 11 pro fights. She was coming off a 44-second submission victory from last summer.

Former sumo wrestler Sudario bounces back

Sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter Tsuyoshi Sudario had a rough New Year’s Eve. Last December he had a strong winning streak put to a sudden end, as now-UFC talent Junior Tafa stopped him within two minutes due to strikes.

Well, Sudario turned things around this weekend with an emphatic win over former UFC talent Roque Martinez. Sudario had a well-rounded performance against Martinez, looking composed and methodical on the feet and grinding away at Martinez with ground and pound for large portions of the fight.

Martinez was returning to RIZIN after going winless through three fights in the UFC and picking up a victory on his home island of Guam. He has previously fought in the promotion from 2017 to 2020, earning a trio of finish wins in that time.

The fight was Sudario’s seventh win since he made the shift to MMA in 2020.

Abdulkhalikov opens the night with explosive win

Saturday’s card featured lots of decisions, although there were certainly some fireworks. Take for example Ali Abdulkhalikov, who got some folks shouting inside the Yoyogi National Stadium at 4 p.m. local time.

Abdulkhalikov floored opponent Tatsuya Saika with a two-punch combination, leading with a left hook and then dropping him with a significantly stronger right hook. The referee was quick to jump in and stop the fight, which had just started a few minutes before.

Abdulkhalikov was appearing in RIZIN for the first time since 2019. He has attained four wins since then. He celebrated the quick finish with a running backflip off the wall of the cage. Check out the moment below:


Full highlights and results from RIZIN LANDMARK 5 can be seen here.

Here are the quick results:

  • RESULT: Mikuru Asakura def. Juntarou Ushiku via unanimous decision
  • RESULT: Yutaka Saito def. Ren Hiramoto via split decision
  • RESULT: Shinobu Ota def. Kazuma Kuramoto via TKO (strikes) at 0:27 in Rd 1
  • RESULT: Luiz Gustavo def. Koji Takeda via split decision
  • RESULT: Kanna Asakura def. Mei Yamaguchi via unanimous decision
  • RESULT: Claire Lopez def. RENA via Submission (Kneebar) at 4:21 of Rd 3
  • RESULT: Tsuyoshi Sudario def. Roque Martinez via unanimous decision
  • RESULT: Masanori Kanehara def. Sora Yamamoto via unanimous decision
  • RESULT: Ali Abdulkhalikov def. Tatsuya Saika via TKO (punches) at 3:30 of Rd 1
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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for MMA-Prospects.com and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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