It is not easy for many to catch RIZIN cards live. Because of this evil thing known as timezones, RIZIN cards from Japan happen in the middle of the night for viewers in North America. Many watch these cards on replay or simply can’t find time for them in their busy week – but that doesn’t mean the cards don’t have lots of notable combat sports moments every time they take place.
RIZIN 42 happened on Saturday from the incredibly new Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. There were lots of takeaways from the show, including high-profile bantamweight bouts and a major kickboxing clash. Here are some of the things you missed from this weekend’s RIZIN card.
Asakura, Archuleta matched up after wins in big-time bantamweight bouts
Bantamweights were the main focus of Saturday night, as two high quality matchups in the division sat atop the card. After the night was over, it was Kai Asakura and Juan Archuleta who emerged victorious from their respective bouts. It was mentioned afterward that the two victorious names are expected to be matched up against each other next.
Asakura dropped opponent Yuki Motoya late with a perfectly timed knee to the body, forcing a third-round stoppage in their close main event bout.
Asakura’s striking prevailed briefly during the fight, culminating with the late finish. He scored a knockdown in the second round as well, dropping Motoya with a right hand.
The fight was Asakura’s first appearance in more than a year. His last fight was a loss on RIZIN’s 2021 New Year’s Eve card, losing in the grand final of the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix to Hiromasa Ougikubo.
Archuleta, a former Bellator Bantamweight Champion, picked up his second win inside the RIZIN cage when he prevailed over Naoki Inoue.
He had an incredibly close bout against Inoue, turning things around in the fight with sharp striking on the feet and submission attempts on the ground. Inoue certainly had the better start to the fight, although Archuleta finished strong with submission attempts.
Archuleta won his RIZIN debut in December, picking up a decision win over Road FC Bantamweight Champion Kim Soo-chul.
Inoue made his return to competition on New Year’s Eve, defeating Kenta Takizawa on scorecards. That bout was his first appearance since he was eliminated from the 2021 RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix by Hiromasa Ougikubo.
Souza bounces back with suffocating grappling performance
The dangerous grappling skills of RIZIN Lightweight Champion Roberto Satoshi Souza were on display this weekend, as he picked up a unanimous decision win against Spike Carlyle in a dominant, non-title performance.
Souza was aggressive on the ground, going from submission to submission against a savvy defender in Carlyle. While Carlyle was never submitted by any of the attempts that Souza had primarily in the first and second rounds, it kept him from attacking for large chunks of the bout.
Souza had an extensive winning streak snapped on New Year’s Eve in 2022, dropping a decision to AJ McKee. Saturday’s fight puts him back into the win column as the promotion’s lightweight champion.
Buakaw, Anpo walk away without winner after three-round war
An explosive kickboxing bout between Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek and K-1 vet Rukiya Anpo ended in a draw after three fast-paced rounds of action on Saturday.
Anpo was aggressive from the start of the fight, coming at Buakaw with quick combinations of punches. Buakaw would eat these shots and counter with kicks to the legs and body of Anpo. Later rounds of the bout saw the strikers trade slick striking combinations, taking turns at times with their shots.
The Tokyo crowd was silenced briefly after they were told that a winner wouldn’t be decided for the kickboxing bout that they saw this weekend.
Buakaw, a K-1 veteran, was returning to Japan for the first time in years and competing in RIZIN for the first time.
Anpo, a former K-1 Super Lightweight Champion, was also making his promotional debut. In the lead-up to this weekend, photos circulated of a young Anpo meeting Buakaw at a gym.
Dodson keeps streak going
John Dodson has been on fire as of late. The former UFC talent is on a five-fight winning streak between MMA and bare-knuckle boxing appearances. He won his RIZIN debut last New Year’s Eve, putting away Hideo Tokoro in the first round with punches.
After picking up another win in bare-knuckle boxing, Dodson returned to RIZIN this weekend against flyweight prospect Tatsuki Saomoto. The 38-year-old vet showed that he still has a lot left in the tank with his strong three-round performance against Saomoto, out-landing him on the feet and also proving to be a threat on the ground en route to a decision victory.
RIZIN is currently without a flyweight belt. However, if they plan to officially bring a belt into the mix and keep their division moving, there’s no doubt that Dodson will remain in the mix.
Hidden gems pick up victories
If RIZIN has done one thing over the years, it’s pluck out talent from every corner of the planet and give them a chance to compete in the ring. Take this weekend for example, where talents from Uzbekistan and Serbia both impressed with their performances.
Viktor Kolesnik, a lightweight talent that has fought for nearly a decade, chopped away at the legs of Atsushi Kishimoto to earn a second-round finish early in the evening. The re-occuring kicks from Kolesnik became too much for Kishimoto to handle, causing him to drop to the canvas halfway through the bout.
Kolesnik entered this bout already on a five-fight winning streak since 2021, with four of those fights coming via stoppage.
26-year-old Ramazan Temurov had a quick finish win earlier in the night, flattening Yuta Hamamoto with punches in the first round. He flattened Hamamoot with a clean left hook, then followed the moment up with quick ground and pound to force a finish.
The fight was Temurov’s 16th pro win through 18 appearances.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the fights that took place in Tokyo this Saturday:
Bantamweight: Kai Asakura def. Yuki Motoya via KO (knee) at 2:22 of Rd 3
Bantamweight: Juan Archuleta def. Naoki Inoue via unanimous decision
Lightweight: Roberto Satoshi Souza def. Spike Carlyle via unanimous decision
Lightweight Kickboxing: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Rukiya Anpo via majority draw
Featherweight Custom Rules Bout: YA-MAN def. Kota Miura via TKO (strikes) at 3:13 in Rd 1
Flyweight: John Dodson def. Tatsuki Saomoto via unanimous decision
Featherweight: Kazumasa Majima def. Takahiro Ashida via submission (von flue choke) at 4:43 in Rd 1
Featherweight: Ulka Sasaki def. Boyd Allen via unanimous decision
Lightweight: Viktor Kolesnik def. Atsushi Kishimoto via TKO (leg kicks) at 2:30 in Rd 2
Flyweight: Erson Yamamoto def. Yuki Ito via unanimous decision
Featherweight: Takeji Yokoyama def. Takuya Yamamoto via Submission (armbar) at 1:24 in Rd 1
Flyweight: Ramazan Temurov def. Yuta Hamamoto via TKO (punches) at 4:06 in Rd 1
Catchweight 152 lbs. Kickboxing: Sota Kimura def. Yasuhiro Kido via unanimous decision
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