Rizin Heisei’s Last Yarennoka! took place on Monday December 30, 2018, live from the famed Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event had an attendance of 7,498. RIZIN 14 took place on Monday December 31, 2018, live from the famed Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Below you will find the post fight backstage interviews form both events.
AI def. Nanaka Kawamura (TKO, 3:01 – 1R)
Yuta Uchida def. Takuma Konishi (3-0 DEC, 5:00 – 3R)
Taiju Shiratori def. Yoshiya Uzatsuyo (KO, 1:43 – 3R)
Kai Asakura def. Jae Hoon Moon (3-0 DEC, 5:00 – 3R)
Asakura: If I lost again, my career is over, so I feel relieved. I couldn’t do anything in my last fight, so I feel improved. I wanted the finish but I can control the fight.”
Moon: “For today’s fight, Asakura was well prepared. I’m heartbroken. Asakura has changed as a fighter. He knows the MMA game well now. I think he really wanted revenge against me.”
Kana Watanabe def. Sugiyama Shizuka (KO, 0:11 – 1R)
Watanabe: “I think this performance will help me to ask a chance to next year compete in Women’s Flyweight Grand Prix. That’s what I want.”
Mikuru Asakura def. Lion Takeshi (TKO, 2:39 – 2R)
Asakura: “My opponent analyzed me well. He seemed slow, so I expected not to get hit, but he caught me once, since his timing is good. No real damage though. I was able to adapt and finish him in the 2nd round.”
Takeshi: “His striking is quick. I wanted to land my straight right, but he has a strong chin. It was short notice, but I wanted to participate on New Year’s Eve. I want to fight again.”
Satoru Kitaoka def. Tatsuya Kawajiri (2-1 DEC, 5:00 – 3R)
Kitaoka: “I was able to show what I prepared today. I lost my DEEP title in my last fight, so this was a nice restart for me. It was a split decision but I’m really happy. I hit him with a solid punch early on, but he came back hard. I felt how strong his heart was. A win is a win, but I wanted the finish. If I participate in the Lightweight Grand Prix, it will be difficult.”
Kawajiri: “I couldn’t fight as I planned. I trained with him many times, I like him as a fighter. I’m glad I was able to fight with him. I’m not sure about my future, since my body and heart hurts. As far as condition, lightweight is better than my previous divisions. I slowed down in the second half of my fights when I was a featherweight.”
POST FIGHT BACKSTAGE INTERVIEWS: FIGHTER QUOTES FROM FIGHT-DAY SAITAMA – December 31st, 2018 ( 29,105 attendees)
RENA vs Samantha Jean Francois canceled due to RENA having weight cut issues.
Tofiq Musaev def. Nobumitsu Tyson (TKO, 1:19 – 2R)
Q: What is your plan for the future?
A: If I have the opportunity I’d like to come back to this dream stage. I’ll try to be able to adjust to whatever situations possible next time.
Q: Was there a lack of information prior to the match?
A: I was only able to watch highlights of his last matches. He seemed to use many kicks, and whenever he came into me, I thought I’d throw back punches. He really surprised me.
Q: Were there effects of him pounding?
A: It was really hard, I thought this hurts. I got wobbly, and he was really good technically. Heavier than I thought.
Q: How do you think he would fare in the lightweight grand prix?
A: I haven’t faced the other opponents, so I don’t know how he would fare in the tournament.
Q: During the weigh-in when you were fooling around, Musaev seemed a little bit intimidated. Do you think that angered him?
A: I was just trying not to look in his eyes, he looked angry.
Q: Any comments on your fight?
A: First of all, thank you very much. It’s a great honor to represent our country our flag and our nation. It’s great to win and go home with a trophy. I want to thank RIZIN and it’s a great honor to be a fighter here and a winner here. So thank you for that.
Q: How about the comment on the match itself? How did you analyze your fight?
A: First of all, I want to say that it’s my first time in Japan, it’s great to be here. It’s obviously a challenge time wise, and I’m glad that I was able to come here at least 1 week early to adapt, because adaptation is very important. Prior to the match it was not easy to lose the last 300 grams and make the weight. When it comes to t he fight itself, the fight showed everything. The competitor is obviously a well-known athlete here in the country. I personally, as an athlete, don’t understand why the things he does. Maybe it’s to put on a show or be entertaining. But again, it’s his style, but I believe the athlete should show what he can show in the ring, during the fight, not before or after.
Q: Previously in the press conference, you said you want to win beautifully, do you think you did that?
A: Well, first of all it was a great honor to have the first fight of the night at this great event. I hope I could demonstrate a good fight. However, at the end of the day I’ll leave it up to you. I think that’s something the fans should say.
Q: The opponent came here and he mentioned he struggled with unexpected tackles from you. Previously, he thought that you were a standing type of player, but you took him down and it was unexpected. Was it the plan to surprise him?
A: So, the strategy started not today, it started by analyzing the matches, and my coach has helped me develop these tactics. We planned round by round. Certainly there was a certain strategy, and we are glad that it worked out in the end.
Q: Overall, how did you feel about your first experience in RIZIN?
A: I will start with saying I want to thank RIZIN again, the executives, everyone who organized, volunteers, everyone. You can feel from the first minute how well its prepared. It will always stay in my memory as one of the greatest event. It’s so well planned. If RIZIN continues to perform on such a high level, one day, it will be a more remarkable event than the UFC.
Q: Please talk to us about your future perspectives including the chance of joining RIZIN again.
A: Well, we have great ambitions about it. Our hope and plans and dreams would be to win the grand prix at RIZIN. It would be the best gift I could give to my coach, who contributed to my development.
Q: You are still humble after winning. You are on a 10 fight win streak, all KO’s. Is this the best way to introduce yourself into RIZIN?
A: Thank you for mentioning it. It was 10 good results. We think that these types of results are something that RIZIN should see more. We hope that we get offers from RIZIN to perform. It would be an honor for myself, my team and my nation.
Q: Who do you want to face next in the Grand Prix?
A: It’s a great privilege and honor to fight in the Grand Prix in RIZIN. Whoever they pair me against, I am ready to fight.
Shinju Nozawa Auclair vs Justyna Haba (TEC SUB (RNC), 3:41 – 2R)
Q: Could you give us your thoughts on the match?
A: I haven’t seen the video so I don’t know what to say where it went wrong. It’s been 1 year since my last match, so I’m very happy to come back. I’d like to say sorry to my coaches and my team.
Q: How is the impression of your opponent?
A: I think she had a smart match. She was thinking very tactically. She took advantage.
Q: Were there any surprises about how she came out?
A: I think she came out very well.
Q: So it’s been one year. Could you give us your thoughts of coming back on this stage?
A: I’d really like to thank RIZIN. I’m really happy that I could come back. I lost today but I want to come back soon.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I wish to have the opportunity to step on the RIZIN ring, and in order to do that I need to be active.
Q: You mentioned that you want to have a clean match. At the point that the opponent got you in the triangle point, that might have been the turning point of the match. what do you think?
A: I haven’t seen the video so I don’t really know where I went wrong. Maybe my coach told me that I just went forward too much, I was a little too aggressive. I needed to think more and be patient. I think I need a little more experience to show all of the moves I’ve been doing in training to do it in a match. I’d like more experience in actual matches.
Q: You have bruises but how is your arm?
A: The arm is fine.
Q: Could you assess your win?
A: I’ve been preparing for the match with a combination of standing and ground work, so that paid off. The opponent Shinju brought me down to the ground, so I understood she wanted to fight there, where I was prepared, so that was good.
Q: It was finished on the ground, can you assess your flow of the fight?
A: When I was preparing for the ground fight, I was also preparing for the grappling.
Q: What was your impression of Shinju after fighting her?
A: To be honest, I thought she was much stronger in standing, so I was getting ready to defend her strikes, it was a little surprising that she took me to the ground. I just followed.
Q: You’ve mainly been preparing for standing since you thought she was good at striking?
A: Yes, I did think that she was stronger in standing. My image of Shinju was higher in height and longer reac
Q: It’s been an outstanding professional debut today. What do you think about it?
A: To be honest, I don’t really remember the fight itself, I want to watch the video. I’ll find things to work on, so at the moment I can’t talk about the fight very well.
Q: Can you tell us about your future perspective? Plan for 2019?
A: After this match, I think there’s many things I have to work on, including grounding and conditioning. I think I want to focus on things I have to work on and I want to improve based on that.
Q: You won with a choke. Do you have a title in jiu-jitsu or grappling type of martial art?
A: There was a European Championship in Czech last year, and I lost in the final. I don’t have a belt, but the finish was by holding the arm with your leg.
Q: Is that something you were prepared for?
A: I did practice this finishing move. I have a coach who is not here right now in Japan, but there’s a coach who taught me these finishing moves and how to use grappling moves.
Q: You are the first Polish fighter to win here in RIZIN. Any message for Polish supporters?
A: Of course I’m very happy with the win. I think the time change in Poland its very early, but my fans, friends and family is watching. But I’d like to thank all of those people in Poland.
Ulka Sasaki vs Manel Kape (3-0 DEC, 5:00 – 3R)
Q: Can you assess your fight?
A: Manel was strong, I never underrated him. But once I grappled, I felt he is really strong.
Q: He was prepared for you?
A: Yes, as a MMA fighter he is improving.
Q: What is your impression of him?
A: I thought he was an extreme striking type of player, but he has been improving his ground technique and handling tackles.
Q: You have some kind of conversation after the match?
A: He kept talking to me during the match as well. We were enjoying the fight. When I went for pound. He kept kissing me, if you plan to kiss me you should try to escape.
Q: You’ve given all you got?
A: I really wanted to finish with KO, but at the same time I admit that he was strong. It’s been a while since I went through 3 rounds so it was exhausting and I almost forgot how exhausting it is to fight all 3 rounds. The match was kind of as expected.
Q: What is your comment on the RIZIN atmosphere?
A: Very flashy, all the openings. The excitement was exceptional and I found the spectators were excited by the production as well.
Q: What’s your future perspective?
A: I have to pursue strongness and get the opportunity to fight. Whether it is outside Japan or inside Japan, I have to prove how strong I am in the ring.
Q: You were wearing wrestling shoes, what was the intention for it?
A: This was one of my challenges. I think I was watching the video of other RIZIN fights, and I found that fighters were slipping on the ring surface and during the ring check last night I thought it’s better for me to wear the shoes.
Q: Have you seen Motoya and Scoggins fight?
A: I didn’t watch.
Q: What do you think of Motoya?
A: Motoya is strong and I’m happy to see a Japanese fighter win. I would like to demonstrate fights that fans want, if I am offered him I will accept.
A: I met Justin, he complained he’s not good at jiu-jitsu, which was funny.
Q: Comments on the match?
A: I think it was a good match. But I gained a little weight, so I didn’t feel as I wanted to and couldn’t move as I wanted to.
Q: How is your impression of your opponent?
A: I thought maybe he was a little bit afraid. As the match went on, I thought he was a very clever fighter. He got on top of my little mistakes that I made, so I think today was his day.
Q: Could you explain what your mistakes were?
A: I thought I would have the advantage standing, but he gradually brought me to the ground game and puton some moves. I got a little tired, he took advantage of that and won the match. I regret that I lost the match but I think those points for him were good points.
Q: He thought you had better ground moves than he expected. Did you train for ground moves considering Ulk
A: I think his advantage is that he can bring you into the ground from standing position. Once the match moves into the ground moves, I overthought things. Things didn’t go well as planned.
Q: You think the result was proper?
A: Unfortunately I couldn’t bring out everything I prepared, wrestling, kickboxing and everything else I prepared for in training. I think I lost to myself. So I’ll just take the result and move on.
Q: Any plans or goals for the future?
A: I have plans for next year. I’ll just take it easy, I had previous matches also so at this point I’d like to rest my body. Then I’d like to look at my plans next year.
Q: You have fought high level fighters, McCall, Sasaki, Horiguchi.
A: McCall, Sasaki and Horiguchi are all great athletes. I come to RIZIN because it’s a world class event. I have the ability to perform at that level to. I’d like to take a rest because my body is hurting everywhere. Then I’ll start my challenge for next year.
Yuki Motoya vs Justin Scoggins (SUB (TeePee Choke), 3:28 – 1R)
Q: Comments on the fight?
A: Looking back on my fight, I controlled the pace from beginning to end, so I’m happy with that.
Q: Impression of opponent?
A: I think he keeps distance and has sharp kicks. It was too short of a fight to give an exact impression.
Q: Fight went as planned?
A: I wasn’t thinking of going on the ground but I went for a triangle choke and I was kind of wondering whether I should sweep or not. I figured the finishing move was the best way to finish.
Q: Comments on the atmosphere?
A: Big crowd, excitement and I’m satisfied with the stage.
Q: How was 2018?
A: This year I had 5 fights and 5 wins. I had 4 finishes.
Q: Perspective on 2019?
A: Next year, I want to improve, brush up my techniques and skills.
Q: Have you practiced the finishing move before?
A: I do practice sometimes. But not frequently. From triangle to armbar, the transition from triangle choke is something I have been practicing.
Q: Justin has experience in the UFC. Do you have any ideal opponent in terms of level?
A: I’d like to challenge someone who has good career.
A: I’ve been watching Sasaki a little backstage, but if I have chance I’d like to fight him.
Q: How was training in Brazil.
A: I think I went to camp in Brazil for 50 days. I got mentally prepared in all of the training sessions. All of the training paid off.
Q: Any comments on the match?
A: I felt good, felt loose coming out there. I love everything about this show, love the production. I got pressured into a corner and shot into a takedown, and he started working on the ground. Like I said before the event, he’s a great grappler. It’s about getting that fight IQ up, not doing dumb stuff. I appreciate RIZIN having me here to put on a good show for the fans. I’m healthy and hope to be back soon.
Q: Tell us about your impression of the oppoent?
A: I felt good on the feet and definitely had a striking advantage. His submissions felts stronger than I anticipated. Hats off to Motoya, these Japanese fighters are tough. That’s why I’m here. I’m going to go back to the drawing board and learn. I hate losing, so I’ll be back to beat someone up.
Q: This is your first RIZIN event, tell us your feelings on the environment and future plans?
A: I had flashback to PRIDE days, all the big explosions and lights. The production value here is crazy! Thank you so much for letting me be part of it. It’s heartbreaking that I couldn’t put on a show for the fans. It’s been a bit of a slump, but I’m 26 years old and been training since I was 3. I’ll come back and fight whoever, doesn’t matter the rules. I’ve been training under all rulesets my whole life. I love Japan and the Japanese fans. I’m ready to rock and roll.
Q: Where would you think Motoya ranks?
A: Honestly, it’s hard to say. I’ve had so many fights where I am beating the guy’s ass and should be winning but get caught in a stupid submission. I’m 26 years old, the clock is ticking for me. He’s really good, but at the same time I’m losing to guys I should never be losing to. It’s hard to place him right now.
Q: The finishing move, were you expecting that? Did you gameplan for things like that, or have any experience with opponents coming with that move?
A: I felt fine at first, but there was some adjustment he did that made it so tight. I thought I could fight it off, but that move, whatever he did, he adjusted it and I couldn’t breathe. I need to watch the film.
Q: How do you deal with bouncing back from 4 losses in a row?
A: I don’t know. All I can think of is just get right back in the gym, do what my team tells me to do and be a better student. Sometimes you just take ‘L’s. You can’t quit. Sometimes there is no answer. I’m gonna keep my head up and chest out. I’ll keep learning, get better, and be best in the world.
Q: What do you think about RIZIN getting behind the Flyweights and the UFC letting go of it?
A: I really think RIZIN has the opportunity and will become the new home for Flyweights and all lighter weight classes. As far as people saying those weight classes aren’t exciting, that’s what martial arts was made for, the little guy beating the big guy. It’s sad, but luckily we got organizations like this and smart matchmakers to bring in an awesome roster like this, and I’m happy to be part of it.
Q: What’s your prediction for the main event tonight?
A: I was really happy to be part of this tonight. I’ve watch Floyd compete my entire life, and Tenshin is a badass. I’m glad it’s an exhibition, since you get to see 2 martial artists grow together. I’d love to mix it up with Tenshin in Kickboxing.
Q: Now that you’ve had your first fight in RIZIN, do you feel that there’s any Flyweights that you match up well a
A: I had this big plan before this fight but now there’s a kink in the plan. I’m gonna talk to the matchmakers because I want to give the fans what they want. Once I prove myself then I’ll start calling for more matchups. I’m at the point where I want to prove myself to my fans and coaches. I’m on a losing streak and the goal now is to get off the losing streak and stop making dumb mistakes.
Johnny Case def. Yusuke Yachi (TKO, 4:47 – 2R)
Yachi did not attend the post fight interviews since he headed straight to the hospital to get his eye checked. Later reported that he has not sustained any serious injuries.
Q: Comments on the match?
A: It was a great fight. Yachi is as tough as they come, I knew he’d be a formidable opponent. It comes down to preparation, I trained accordingly. This is the result of hard work, that’s all this is.
Q: Impression on Yachi?
A: I don’t know what else to say, he’s a great fighter. I wish him the best of luck in the future. I know he’s beat some good guys, it just wasn’t his night.
Q: If the match went longer, do you think the result would’ve been the same?
A: I do, I know his best weapon is his big right hook, I knew he’d throw it. I was prepared, not too eager to come forward because of that. I was trying to stay away from that. I was focused on landing my right hand, and I think that set the tempo for the fight. Going into the last hand I think it would’ve just been me avoiding his right hook and me landing my straight right.
Q: Impression of the rRIZIN atmosphere?
A: This is the best I’ve ever fought. This is my 33rd fight. I love Tokyo and Japanese fans. Ever since I got to the hotel, signing autographs, it’s great. The energy, the walkout, fighting in the ring was like a dream come true. It was so fun and this environment brought the best out of me. It got me to go out there and lay my heart and soul on the line and put on a show for the fans.
Q: Comment on future plans or goals?
A: I heard they’re doing a lightweight grand prix, I would love to be part of that. My goal is to be champion. I’m a huge fan of Gomi, and I would be honored to share the ring with him.
Q: Do you feel like you’re proving to the UFC and everyone else that you’re still one of the top lightweights?
A: I’m over the UFC. It was a good platform, they cut me – whatever, business is business. I still think I could win a lot of fights there. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than RIZIN. Working with bellator also, the sky’s the limit here. Japanese MMA fans are the best fans in the world. The UFC kind of uses people, and when they can’t use them anymore, they let them go. Who wants to work for people like that. I want to work where I feel respected. I’m a company man.
Q: What’s your feelings now that you’ve competed in the ring?
A: I love fighting here, the energy and fans are awesome. The ring was better for my style. The octagon people can move around alot more, but in the ring you’re one step out or in the action. There were chances for me to take advantage of the rule differences, but this is just the first fight in this ruleset for me, I’m only going to get better and better. I can’t wait to get back and do it again.
Q: How would you encourage other fighters to come fight in Japan?
A: I would say a lot of Americans are scared to fight this style. But it’s very efficient. The object is to stop your opponent, what better way than a clean KO with kicks and knees. Look at it with more of an open mind. If any other fighter came to Japan and felt the emotion and energy that the fans have for the fighters, there would be no other place they’d rather fight.
[Fight 7] – Kazuyuki Miyata retirement fight
Kazuyuki Miyata vs Erson Yamamoto (SUB (Hammer lock), 3:23 – 2R)
A: Armlock is one of my strong weapons. Grappling is something I’ve been preparing for. I grew up doing wrestling and I wasn’t grappling much after turning pro in MMA. I knew Arsen was good wrestler. When I get my hands on the ground, sometimes I feel my leg muscle so I was cautious with those kind of moves.
A: I feel that things are getting fun. Retiring at this point is …. I feel that I could do more for MMA. I think wrestling world in Japan is now improving and getting stronger compared to my days. Based on that, those mma fighters with wrestling background can come into MMA and improve the JMMA world as well.
A: In the result I get a win, so I should be happy with it.
Q: In the beginning you oth
A: I knew we had to do it. Yesterday after listening to Sakakibara san in the rule meeting, looking for just winis something amateur pursue, but as professionals we should do something entertaining. I felt Arsen would jump into me so it’s something i did as well.
Q: Do you train on that finishing move a lot?
A: I like doing grappling and fighting on the ground, I need to use it to maintain my muscles. I keep doing those training. Striking as I get older, my eyes get weak, so I focus on grappling and ground training.
A: I didn’t intend to attack from bottom, but I knew opponent was young and have power, if I got top position I would go for it, but I just don’t want to go to far.
A: I was a wrestler until 27 years old and I joined MMA after 28 years old. Most of the olympians who goes to MMA, they only fight for a couple of years and quit. Myself as well I didn’t know if I could go this long. just like me, his expectation was hard. In consequence he lost to the stronger guys. For me I could get strong opponents, I got many losses but that made me get stronger. I wish the best for Ersen as well. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose.
Q: comments on match?
A: Maybe I shouldn’t say yet, but I thought that I could win this match. I thought I could finish the match in the 3rd round. But Miyata’s ground moves were much better than I expected. I regret that I lost.
Q: You thought you could control the match?
A: Yes, I had a feeling I could start controlling. Really tiny mistakes added up to big mistakes.
Q: Was it a detail?
A: I had my hand on the mat, he took advantage of that. If I didn’t put my hand on the mat, I should’ve put my hand on his stomach or chest, somewhere else, then hat probably wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know how many MMA fights I’ve had so far. 6th match maybe? 5 or 6. Everytime, a very good opponent, so all the mistakes I make, all the experiences I get. I’d like to take that and improve in the future. It doesn’t feel like I’ve had a match, only the reality that I’ve lost is running around my head.
Q: Impression of Miyata?
A: He was strong. Very nice ground moves, he’s a great fighter. I appreciate he chose me as the opponent of his final match.
A: There were about the knee at the beginning. People asked me to go for a jumping knee, maybe Miyata also had it in mind. It was his final match so I wanted him to go out with a blast. I can’t say I knew he would do it. It would’ve been sad if I hadn’t done that.
Q: Comments on overall ?
A: Result is everything, can’t say much else. I never felt this was a memorial match during training. Of course I’m fighting for KID, but fighting is win or lose, it’s me. I was just focusing on the win.
Q: What do you think KID would say about your match?
A: He would say just keep on practicing and you’ll do well. I think he regrets my loss. I’m a fighter that gets nervous before matches, but this time I didn’t feel any nervousness, probably because KID was by my side.
Q: Future plans or goals?
A: My goal is I’ll be having a child in february, I’d like to see a very energetic baby, then go back to practice. Hopefully I can win the rest of my matches. I know result is everything, but I am training at a very good place. I appreciate Miyata and RIZIN for calling me even though I’ve lost several times.
Q: What do you have to say to Miyata?
A: I went over and congratulated him. He also congratulated me. I appreciated his comments. In a sense, I see how my future should go. After I started fighting MMA, I thought why should I be fighting strong men, but now I have confidence to take on anybody.
A: I will fight anybody. Whoever comes will be fine with me. When I started off, I was afraid of even watching videos. Those worries starting changing into motivations and confidence. I said at the funeral of KID, that I started enjoying MMA, so I want to say to my fans please look forward to my matches and I’m improving.
Miyuu Yamamoto def. Mika Nagano(3-0 DEC, 5:00 – 3R)
Q: Thoughts on your fight?
A: I was able to look at the crowd while I was entering. But once I got to the ring, I felt nervousness. There was some worries as the match was about to start.
Q: Impression of Miyuu?
A: She was physically very strong.
Q: Miyuu said she couldn’t finish you. Comments on that?
A: It was also difficult to me to attack her. She had the power. I just wasn’t good enough to beat her.
Q: Feelings on being in new years event and the atmosphere?
A: I’m very appreciative to RIZIN for letting me be part of this event. I think this will be a good experience for me. It was really fun.
Q: Plans for 2019?
A: I would like to bounce back from this loss and practice more. I hope to get better.
A: I wanted to show my standing skills and i could’ve gone a step or half step closer, then i could’ve knockout finish at some point it’s disappointing
A: wasn’t about opponent, it was about me hitting opponent. When it was on the ground, she was aggressive so I had to adapt to that as well
A: from the last match i wanted to demonstrate my combinations more. I only done 1-2 but I could’ve done more better. I think I could’ve controlled throughout the match, but I couldn’t attack enough to make the referee stop.
Q: Comments on event itself?
A: Every Time I come to RIZIN, it is getting better and better. I’m always looking forward to it. NYE event is always special, I’m honored to be part of it.
Q: With a victory, what is perspective on 2019?
A: I would like to start again, I was talking with Ersen as well, he’s prepared for training camp as well. I know he’s disappointed but we have to start training in 2019, we both have to be more stronger and come back to the ring.
Q: Ersen was determined.
A: I hope I could inspire him as a mother as well.
A: To be honest, I think he was very calm and showed a good match on his feet as well, but Miyata’s experience overtook him, because of his final match, he really wanted to finish winning.
Q: There was something going on about KID
A: For me I wanted to see my brother watching me keep winning, I know he is watching me from above but I’m so disappointed to not see KID watching me, but I really feel he is watching.
Damien Brown def. Daron Cruickshank (SUB [Guillotine Choke], 4:19 – 1R)
Q: Thoughts on the fight?
A: It’s a tough fight, I lost. I made a stupid decision. I was dominate as far as striking, he was the better man tonight.
Q: Impression of opponent?
A: He’s tough, he’s slow. I saw everything he was throwing. He can take a beating, and he’s got that old man strength for sure.
Q: He made some evaluation about when you try to take opponents down. Are his comments correct?
A: He didn’t hit me. I think I heard the one minute mark, and I thought I should finish the round on top. But I beat myself, he didn’t beat me.
Q: Thoughts on atmosphere of RIZIN?
A: I feel like every show, the crowd gets better and better. The more I fight, the more the Japanese fans cheer for me. Hopefully I’ll be back here in 2019, fighting Damien Brown in the tournament.
Q: Plans for 2019?
A: I’m pretty sure RIZIN will have a tournament for my weight class. I’ll jump into that or I don’t know.
Q: Thoughts on match?
A: We took this fight, we knew that Daron was very tough and crafty. He had a lot of tools he could’ve caught me with. He landed some very solid strikes, spinning back fist and elbow. Happy my chin was able to hold up to that. Besides that, I felt comfortable in there, the fight ended the way I thought it would, by submission.
Q: Impression of Daron?
A: Daron’s a nice guy, he showed me respect during the week and after the match. I’m in the sport for the martial arts aspect, and if you can’t show respect you shouldn’t be here. He showed humility after losing.
Q: Feeling of the environment?
A: I loved every minute of Japan. I turned up on Friday, cut weight saturday and sunday, fought today. RIZIN has treated me like royalty. It’s been amazing and I can’t wait to get back here again.
Q: Do you think you are taking Daron’s popularity from him?
A: He’s established himself here, he’s a key fighter for RIZIN. I appreciate the opportunity, but I’m looking to make my own spot.
Q: Future plans? Desire to stay with RIZIN?
A: I’m 34 years old, I’d like to stay with RIZIN the rest of my career. There’s been some changes over the last 12 months. I hope I’ve secured my place on the RIZIN roster for years to come.
Q: When Daron tried to take you down, did you lure him into the finishing move?
A: I didn’t think Daron was going to take me down, but I had a feeling based on his past fights, he’s a world class striker, if he feels threatened he goes for the takedown but keeps his chin out. I didn’t feel threatened by his takedowns because he would be in a bad position.
Q: A lot of people are staying up in Australia, what’s your message to the Australian fans?
A: It’s been a long year for me, but I’m very thankful for the fans since they pay the bills. I’m appreciative of all fans across the world.
Q: How do you think
A: With the recent changes in my career, I want to fight the biggest people in the biggest promotions in the world. If there’s a GP in the future I want a seat, if not, I just want to fight the biggest fight at the time. No disrespect.
Gabi Garcia def. Barbara Nepomuceno (SUB (Keylock), 2:39 – 1R)
A: At the end, I could bring her down and go on the ground, and that worked well. I wanted the KO win but I knew my power was overtaking her and she had a feeling of more power.
Q: The finish was as you planned?
A: It was just as I planned. It’s been 27 years since I started jiujitsu. I started thinking I would like to utilize my jiujitsu skill. My opponent has a background of kickboxing, she could take advantage on the feet. I didn’t want to risk that. The first punch got her I think. That gave her damage, so based on that I could go to jiujitsu and finish her. I’m pleased with how I started and finished. I’m just satisfied with the win.
Q: The punch at the beginning was a message?
A: I also wanted to fight on the feet, that’s true. There was a discussion with RIZIN that we could do some kind of fight that is focused on kickboxing. Not for this match, but based on the discussion , I had a feeling to fight with striking and I knew she was good on standing, so I wanted to take advantage of her strength as well. I wanted to show her that I could give her damage more than she could give me. This victory I would like to thank my coach and dedicate this victory to my coach who has changed my way of taking MMA. He gave me confidence and I want to give this victory to him. He means so much to me. This is a new Gabi, from now on I won’t get beaten up anymore. This was a big challenge.
A: there was an offer for a kickboxing rules. It’s going to be a big challenge for me, I’m not a complete fighter, I’m still growing. If I get offer under rule of kickboxing i’m happy to accept. but this time i’ve been training for mma fight, so i wanted to go under mma rules. still im a fighter so i shouldn’t be scared of taking any challenges. in the future i would like to accept any challenge.
Q: How did you feel the atmosphere?
A: I’ve been telling this in past interviews, but i grew up watching pride. I had a feeling that I would never reach the stage like pride. this is a dream come true for me to fight in saitama super arena. I still have goosebumps when I come here to fight. looking back on last year, there was some trouble i caused, so i really wanted this year to realize the fight. I truly wanted to fight in japan and get a win. I’m brazilian but i have the soul of japanese. as a fighter, anyone would want to come here and walk towards the ring surrounded by japanese c rowd. It’s a dream come true for any fighter. Japanese fans really respect fighters. any fighter would feel that. Paying respect is important for a fighter like me. I take importance of bushido and when i come back to japan i understand what bushido is and what respect for martial arts is. winning in japan is the best.
Q: future perspective?
A: rizin has been offering so many chances directly and indirectly. rizin has opened the door for me, not just about fights, but i get offers outside the ring. for me personally im showing the best performance in japan leads me to so many things. i have adjusted my weight and i successfully did it. this fight was so special for me and much more special than you expect. after 3 years i went back to my home and the best thing that sakakibarasan can offer me is the women’s heavyweight grand prix.
Q: Comments on Kandori?
A: First of all I respect Kandori as an athlete. Last year I canceled. I think Kandori has been frustrated about that. Personally I don’t pick opponents. I accept any offer and in the past I had the match against her, but I failed to make weight. She canceled in the past, she sent me her friend and I beat her up instead. If Kandori wants to fight with me, I would accept but she is the one who has to be determined. There’s so many fighters who want to fight against me, she’s not the only one. It’s good for her to challenge. I’m ready to fight with anyone, so if she wants to come to me, I’m ready.
Q: Comments on fight?
A: I’m very disappointed for my loss. I’m very happy and pleased to have this opportunity to join in such a big event. RIZIN is a very quality event. There are very good fighters that come here and I’m very glad to be a part of it. This is a dream come true for me so I’m happy for that, but still I’m disappointed for not winning the math.
Q: Impression on Gabi?
A: There’s not much difference in before or after. There was some kind of trouble or criticism between us. After fighting with her, I realize she is truly a strong fighter and big. It was a loss but at the same time a good learning experience. This was my first fight in RIZIN and it was a bad result but I want to work for the future. If I ever get the chance to fight in Japan I will accept. I want to thank Gabi for accepting my challenge.
Q: What do you think about kickboxing against Gabi?
A: I’m happy to fight against anyone with the rules given. It’s up to RIZIN.
Q: You were talking with Gabi in the ring after the fight. What did you say?
A: After the match I thanked Gabi. Because of her I had the opportunity to come to Japan and fight in RIZIN. I thanked Gabi for accepting my challenge. Also the fans were following and posting some bad things about me, my fans were posting bad things about Gabi. There was controversial circumstances going on, but personally I never took her bad in person. I’m not sure about her but, I wanted to tell her in person that I had no intention of causing these kind of troubles so it was a good chance to tell her directly. I realize that she is truly a good and strong fighter.
Jiri Prochazka def. Brandon Halsey (TKO (Submission due to strikes), 6:30 – 1R)
Q: Comments on the fight?
A: There’s so many things I have to work on. I have to catch or grab the opponent more effectively. I got the opponent took me down and that unnecessarily. I’ve been in a tough struggle a little bit a few times. My belief is to put all my strength into one fight. I thought too much about tactic and the outcome became a poor performance.
Q: Impression on opponent?
A: He was so strong. He gave me good pressure and he tried to contact. I think he was good with contacting bodies. It was hard on both fighters. It was very intense. I think maybe it got him as well, that exhaustion I took some behavior. The way he fought and kept getting outside the ring was not good. I’m always determined for the match and I’m always setting my goals to win. My fighting style is motivates me and that’s my style.
A: What motivates me is how I play, how I’m determined. This is my lifework. Fighting is my lifework, and that is my motivation for fighting.
A: It was twice that I felt some kind of danger. The first choke he got me well. His choke was very good, but still I thought I could escape. I’ve been going through that position and that state of fight, so I knew how I could turn it around.
Q: Did you feel him getting tired after the submission attempts?
A: I feel it because he goes full power all the time. I watched him how much power going all the time, so I wait for the signature moments. In this moment, I try to go with power and technique and go up and continuing the fight.
Q: What were your thoughts when he kept getting out of the ring?
A: I kept telling him “come on brendan”. Everyone knows it was not so hard. He tried to make time for himself to breathe and be back in the game.
Q: Future plans?
A: First of all, I would like to improve my fight and seek perfection. So I want to take some time to improve myself. Next year, I would like to have opportunity to challenge for a title in RIZIN.
Q: Comments on the match?
A: Went out there with a gameplan, broke my thumb early in the match. It was hard to grab. Kind of winged it from there, didn’t go my way. The better man won tonight.
Q: Impression of Jiri?
A: He’s a tough guy. All respect to him. The better man won tonight, no excuses, and we move forward from here.
Q: Tell us about your opportunities in the match.
A: I had the choke locked in deep. My thumb was broken so I couldn’t really squeeze and get a good grip. I had to bail on both chokes and it didn’t work out.
Q: Feelings about the environment?
A: It was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It was an honor fighting in front of the Japanese people. It was very humbling and very amazing. I look forward to putting on another show in front of everyone.
Q: Plans for future?
A: I’d like to fight at heavyweight in April.
Ayaka Hamasaki def. Kanna Asakura (SUB (Armbar), 4:34 – 2R)
Q: Comments on match?
A: Hamasaki was really strong. Both in striking and groundwork, she was better than me.
Q: Impression has changed?
A: I knew she was strong before I foguth her. Her international record shows that.
Q: She mentioned the match it wasn’t as she expected.
A: I tried to fight with my striking. I wanted to challenge with my striking. I had to utilize groundwork more. She was in another level.
Q: Thoughts on new years event?
A: I really wanted to get a title belt so its disappointing. I think this made me to strive for a new goal. I have to work on.
Q: New goals?
A: I want Hamasaki-san to keep the belt, and I want to be the one to challenge her.
Q: Did you not intend to tackle?
A: I got intimidated with the tackle. I didn’t get the damage from her tackle as well.
Q: Comments on fight?
A: The fight wasn’t exactly the way I planned. I’d been training boxing and striking. There are things I need to try. I’m a little frustrated because I was expecting Kanna to tackle but she didn’t. Maybe she was prepared for me as well. I know that she is improving so much and stronger than I knew. If I could take her on the ground I knew I had a chance to finish. I didn’t care where the finish happened.
A: New Years Eve, Saitama Super Arena is special for me to fight in front of this crowd.
Q: You had an eyepoke?
A: I don’t remember exactly but my sight was blurred so I took some time.
Q: Future Plans?
A: Now I have a title, I have to be responsible for that.
Q: Was there a turning point that decided the match?
A: I’d been practicing boxing, so I think I could come into the match with confidence in my striking. I think based on that I could fight with striking and standing. That made me take her on the ground. There’s the younger generation is starting to get into MMA, but still I have a strong will not to be beaten up by the younger guys.
Q: The age between you has been compared in the match.
A: I agree, I made drastic improvements in my 20s. Youth is an advantage for younger fighters.
Q: What’s your mentality facing young fighters?
A: I don’t really care about age or generation. My fight was around 9:45. There was a long time before my match after arriving to the arena, so I took a nap and was relaxed.
Q: You are the champion of RIZIN. What challenges come to you now?
A: Definitely I take it as a positive thing. In Invicta I became champion and it allowed me to face the best fighters. Now I am champion in RIZIN, I will be waiting for strong fighters.
Q: Any challengers in your mind?
A: There’s no prediction in my mind, but if I get anyone in front of me I’m ready to face.
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrion Caldwell (SUB (Guillotine Choke), 1:19 – 3R)
Q: Thoughts on fight?
A: I felt my opponents power.
Q: Impressions changed?
A: I think I put a fight as I planned.
Q: Thoughts on coming to bellator?
A: The champion of Bellator came to Japan, I thought I have responsibility for accepting this fight and becoming the champion and having the belt with new years eve event.
A: RIZIN representing one of the biggest event in Japan, I didn’t want the international fighter to get the first belt, so I feel relieved for winning it.
Q: You have intention of going to US to get belt?
A: I want to promote JMMA just as we had in PRIDE. I want to express all the good things about JMMA.
Q: Feelings on standing ovation?
A: I’m happy if my fight has given this inspiration to the crowd, I appreciate it.
Q: You feel about representing Japan?
A: I think I should work harder.
Q: It was unexpected for Darrion,were you thinking of going for a choke?
A: It was included in my plan. One of his losses were from a choke so I wanted to use that. He was in a bad position so I went for it.
Q: Was that coaches advice?
A: The coach didn’t want me to go for choke because it was risky, but I trained for it and I thought the position was best for a choke so I just went for it.
A: My corner kept telling me I was leading until 2nd round, personally I knew that he took me down and he was leading so I went for a 3rd round.
Q: Any comments on nasukawa mayweather fight?
A: I think there was so much weight difference, 10kg is quite a difference.
Q: Until 2nd round, were you expecting to go for grappling?
A: I was prepared for it. He has long arms and is rom wrestling so it is within my prediction. I wanted to use my striking, but since the fight is with the opponent I had to react to what the opponent did.
Q: Do you have a date for when you will return?
A: I’m going to train right after. I want to brush up my Karate. I don’t know when the fight will happen but I will go straight back to training.
Q: You were holding Mr. Nihei’s picture after winning?
A: The last match with Tenshin I couldn’t show my win to Mr. Nihei and KID, so I wanted to show them my wi
Q: Any challenge in fighting in a ring?
A: Anytime I’m ever in a ring, I’m only standing up. Most of my fights are on the ground, I beat people up on the ground. Having a lot of space on the bottom of the ring took away from my takes. I used a lot more energy and couldn’t advance position like i normally would. It was a lack of experience inside the ring that cost me
Q: Like to try to come back to rizin?
A: This does not change the fact that I’m the best 135er in the world. I will fight Horiguchi on my home soil for the bellator title. It was a matter of experience, short notice fight. Tonight he was the better fighter. It’s back to the drawing board for me. I’m not susceptible to losing, anybody can lose. It’s the fight game.
Q: Impression of RIZIN as event?
A: It was mind blowing, the greatest experience of my life. Japanese people treated me respect generosity and love. It’s a second home for me for fighting, I’d love to fight out here again.
Q: Plans since its the new year?
A: Goal is fight Horiguchi in the Bellator cage and then run it back here in RIZIN. I am the best Bantamweight in the world. This is not an indicator of me so I would like to get this best out of 3 going with Horiguchi. I’m a fighter at heart, so I’m going to show up and fight. Fuck it, I’ma see him back on my home soil.
Q: Looking back at the finish, you stayed in his guard, did you
A: I didn’t expect that, it was a bad transition by me. I’ll go back to the drawing board. I lost to a submission
[Fight 14] – Special exhibition
Floyd Mayweather def. Tenshin Nasukawa (TKO (towel), 2:19 – 1R)
A: I wanna say thank you to the media, the outlets, all the people in Japan, the fans, you guys. It’s all about entertainment. I went out there and I entertained. Teshin is a great champion, young hungry lion. I have more experience at the high level. We’re still undefeated, it doesn’t go on our records. It’s all about having fun. But I wanna make a couple dollars while having fun. I’m glad Leonard Ellerbe came, Brent Johnson. I just wanna thank my team, Bob, James McNair, Reciardo, Dajuan, Jaybling, Justin, Kingchee, Mo, Mike WillRay Frank JP, my daughter. Daquan. My= whole team. I wanna thank everybody that came from the US to support the event. It was a great turn out, you guys are such a class act. I wanna say happy new year to everyone, may this new year be filled nothing be positivity and love. Thank you from my team. Let’s continue to grow be stronger and work together. Please support Tenshin, he’s a great fighter, a great champion with a big future ahead of himself. I’m still retired. I don’t want to sit here and answer questions all night. I came here to show my respect for everyone covering this event. Thank you to RIZIN. in Japan, RIZIN is #1.
Q: Comments on fight?
A: So many things were new to me. I think it’s been a good experience for me.
Q: You were in feel good tears?
A: I was so disappointed, I really believed that I could go and knock him down, but I never felt this disappointed.
Q: how was mayweather?
A: At first, I think he was underrating me and laughing, and I thought at the beginning my first punch hit him and something turned him on. He came to me and I made a guard and defense and I go to much with defense and I couldn’t see his hook and that turned things around.
Q: Mayweather kept praising you and said this was not official so that your record is still undefeated.
A: I know that record doesn’t show my defeat but it’s the same thing. So I’m not going to forget this feeling and I’m going to take this as a learning experience. I thought he would keep avoiding me for the entire round but he came to attack me, that was a positive thing for me. I thought whatever comes, I should stay brave and never step back. I think I could do that. But I really wanted to win.
Q: What was the opportunity in RIZIN NYE event fighting with mayweather like?
A: Today I’m just so frustrated and disappointed. Bt I can take this as a stepping stone. I’m more fearless than ever.
Q: Any goals?
A: No one else has experienced this. I want to utilize this for my future. I really appreciate everyone’s support and cheer. I was really upset about his behavior but after the match he was very respectful and I think he is a good guy.
Q: Main difference between yours and normal match?
A: First of all everytime I tried to hit him he avoids and utilizes his feint moves. He is a world class boxer.
Q: Did you feel the weight differences?
A: Yes. When I came face to face with him I really felt that he is bigger than me.
Q: Was punch different than others in past?
A: Yes, I never been hit by this hard of a punch before.
Q: Based on today’s experienece, what kind of match do you want next?
A: At the moment, maybe in March 10th, there’s a tournament that’s been fixed. It’s a world championship, so I’m going to prepare for that. This experience was bigger than any other experience that I’ve experienced before.
Q: This match was raising so much attention from the world.
A: It was long but short. My first time going to America. I got so many support from so many people. Consequently the result didn’t go well, but if I could have encouraged anyone, that was a good thing. I really want to be more stronger fighter.
Q: Anything you would change in your training now that you’ve faced a high level striker like Mayweather?
A: In terms of training, everything stays the same. What I learned from him the most are techniques I can absorb and utilize for my future matches. Feints and positioning. Event summary by Nobuyuki Sakakibara:
A: I thought maybe I would feel like a much more longer day but like Floyd Mayweather being late, but when I noticed it was past 11pm, I feel that I still have many things that I need to experience through the negotiations with Mayweather. It’s easy for a promoter to stay within a small world, repeating the same routine. Last year was an adventure for us. We needed to take chances. I don’t like the word unified, unless we throw away that word we’re not going to grow. Tenshin I know it was crazy, the media overseas, I won’t be afraid of criticism, i look forward to new challenges, I appreciate that Tenshin had gone together with me on this adventure. I also appreciate and respect Floyd Mayweather for coming on board this adventure. Also Cygames DMM, Fuji TV, GYAO and all the medias who’ve come here and all the fans. I appreciate all your support. This will be a miracle but also a stepping stone to the next stage. We had first title match for RIZIN, the women’s title. The odd’s were for Hamasaki, but we could’ve seen the progress that Kanna made. I hope there would be a rematch. See how Asakura can shorten the distance between Hamasak and herself. For the match between Horiguchi and Caldwell, I’d like to say thank you to Scott Coker of Bellator. His big decision made these two big organizations come together to operate. They are top 2 players that fought. It may bea risk, but if you don’t take a risk, nothing is going to come out. I think it was a great match and I talked with him right after the match ended. I understand Caldwell is not used to the ring, and maybe if they fight in the cage, it could be a different results. Maybe the fans want to see that. This is not just a challenge for Horiguchi personally, but something between Bellator and RIZIN. Maybe this year we can have a 5 v 5 or 7 v 7 match between Bellator and RIZIN. There is a discussion with Scott about a joint promoted event in a place between JAPAN and USA like Hawaii. Overall it was a very great title match. The fact that Horiguchi won dramatically, this is something that will raise the level of bantamweights in Japan. Hopefully this would maybe lead things into having Horiguchi fight against other organizations champions besides Bellator. The match they say is an exhibition, but 3 mins 3 rounds match is still a match. They fought seriously, and the result without guess. Exhibition doesn’t mean that it’s a match you ease through. If I get into other matches that might be an hour or two, so I’ll let you come with questions.
Q: What would you consider about the fairness in condition?
A: It’s a difficult question. If we try to make it like a strict competition and make it more close to that, it takes the fun away. I think it’s up to people who watch. There may be people who think that’s very dangerous. I wanted to take the weight class away and make it bigger. The only thing probably to shorten somewhat the difference of weight was the glove size. Maybe we should’ve asked for bigger glove for Mayweather. But these are risks that we take. We’ll take a look at what happened, and make use of things that we take away from this match.
Q: Teshin got knocked down 3 times, on the rules it was 3 knockdown rules?
A: Yes it was. Probably after the 1st one his eyes looked wobbly. I think Tenshin himself was never going to quit. I think you saw that well. You’d think the glove was a safety measure. Maybe we should’ve negotiated stronger rules that would’ve favored tenshin.
Q: Was there anything you’ll remember the most during his stay in Japan?
A: I’ve never seen a fighter go to into the ring without warming up. Maybe he took the match too lightly. His opponent is a young uprising champion. I was totally in shock. I don’t know, let me take time to think. I’m really tired now. Considering what we announced on Dec 5th. I only achieved about 30-40 percent of what I wanted. Considering the power balance and it’s reality, only putting 30 % negotiations is reality. In the one loss call the result would be Floyd Mayweather’s win by TKO.
Q: Talk about LW GP?
A: The lightweight gp, I don’t see any Japanese strong candidates so I’d like to search for Japanese fighters who could enter the tournament. There are many athletes and fighters around the world who could enter this tournament. Johny Case, Daron Cruickshank, Kitaoka. Maybe the beginning could be around the summer for a 16 man tournament in lightweight division. I don’t want to put any restrictions about defending titles. I want to answer the fans affections. Probably next July end, we’ll have an event in Saitama, probably end of setp/oct, oct in yokohama. Nagoya. Other dates in Fukuoka and Osaka. We like to hold events in local cities. In Metropolitan tokyo area, Saitama and Yokohama. Broadcasting is shifting from TV to internet. We are considering studio RIZIN. That’s an idea. Event in Hawaii may also be an idea. Some of the commentators that you shouldn’t have matches with this much weight difference. I knew there would be criticisms like that. Do you think Tenshin feels that too? If there was a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather, if there was a chance to do that on my palm, then I will do that. What do you think Tenshin will play in RIZIN in 2019? I discussed with tenshin and his father, when we went to las vegas together. It was 2 weeks we spent. Standing striking. Work without kick. He fought Mayweather alot loss. Maybe 5 weight class different, but 6 weight class. I don’t want to keep tenshin just within boundaries of kickboxing, He may see interest in boxing. I hope that experiences helps him learn how to move forward in the future. Do you have any plans for a kickboxing tournament? In terms of cooperation with RIZE, I’d like to keep that cooperation if possible. I would hold the tournament in a way that you would say that is rizin kick boxing.
Q: Do you think there would be 2 different events in one 1 typeof event in the future.
A: From the perspective of promoter, this is much cheaper. But sponsors are different so there are different issues. But maybe this years year end event is on the 29th and 31st on two different days.
Q: Could you talk a little more about floyd mayweather’s warm up?
A: It seems like he really did nothing in the locker room.
Q: SNS said he went to a korean barbeque he wanted to see mt. fuji but he went shopping. He’s brought a whole bunch of family members in mewus I thought he was shopping for them, but he was shopping his own Versaces. I was told that the whole time was going to Mt. Fuji.
A: I heard that he was in a good mood and since it was a beautiful day, he saw Mount Fuji and wanted to go. So the staff around him had to try to stop Floyd from going to Mount Fuji because if he did, he surely wouldn’t have made it to Saitama on time.
Q: Are you interested in running heavyweight division for womens?
A: I do have a plan for lightweight. I saw shinju performance was at flyweight. This is probably no chance for gabi’s class.
Q: Everyone images that you and Bellator will be working closely
A: Of course I have wills to send RIZIN fighters to bellator for exchange as well and I’m thinking to bring bellator fighters to rizin, you mentioned about the title match for women and we had a title match tonight, but we cannot send hamasaki in that regard since they do not have her class. To be honest, the top fighters in bellator’s is maybe stronger than us and we have to make the rizin fighters deeper to catch the best fighters at bellator.
Q: Do you have plans putting on events internationally?
A: Of course our main market stays in Japan. We have to be successful here before going outside. Having coll aboration with bellator and working with mayweather promotion, we want to make this a tipping point, beca use I realize the fight market is actually the US is going to be the main market in global vision. we have to be competitive in US as well, partnership with bellator and mayweather promotion is going to be the stepping s tone.
Heisei’s last YARENNOKA! Attendance: 7,498 RIZIN.14 Attendance: 29,105