*UNCORKS CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE*
Late Saturday night / the early hours of Sunday morning depending on where our humble reader resides, the Japanese mixed martial arts behemoth returns to our telescreens. Yes, the Rizin Fighting Federation is back in our lives.
Though UFC 241 is dominating and hugging the warm mainstream lime-light, the J-bois in Nagoya have managed to put on what promises to be an insanely exhilarating card filled with punch-fests.
Here’s three reasons why you should spend your late-night seshing it out and tuning into the Japanese cockfighting magnum opus that is Rizin 18:
Chapter #1 – THE GUCCI GOAT IS BACK
Kyoji “I’ll steal your chick and rearrange your facial structure in the process” Horiguchi returns to the Rizin ring after his decision victory over ex-Bellator king-pin; Darion Caldwell. Despite securing a second belt, Kyoji is keeping his foot firmly on the gas, taking on who I can only describe as the Nate Diaz of Japan in Kai Asakura. Asakura holds a (12-1) record in professional punch-kicking. His last loss came by way of a KO loss to Je Hoon Moon in 2017.
Forget about Moon though, he’s out of the picture here. We’re here to discuss Kai y ‘The Guuch’. Basically Kai fights primarily on the fight, swinging big-big bombs and eating many of those bombs in the process of gaining a dominant finish. ‘The Guuch’ instead is a ridiculously talented and gifted at wrestling the soul out of people, yet since becoming a Rizin alumni, he tends to avoid using his wrestling. His true affection and amore is to just stand and bang it out, being both technically sound with bouncy, hip-hoppy-in-n-out movement and being aggressive all the while bouncing around the confines of the cage.
On paper and in our heavily biased brain simulated fantasies; it’s possibly going to be an absolute beauty of a cockfight as Asakura will probably try to slug it out whilst Kyoji will opt either for the takedown or he’ll get sucked into the fire-fight. In short: expect insane fireworks as two Japanese legends jump in the ring for a war of attrition.
Chapter #2 – STACKED STACKED AND MORE STACKED
Not gonna lie, card is pretty stacked.
#RIZIN18 plays host to many fan favourite JMMA favourites. The biggest stand-out name on the card is that of Australian kickboxing Yoda: John Wayne Parr who is having a kickboxing clash with Brazilian: Danilo Zanolini.
Though there’s no Tenshin Nasukawa on this outing (He’s too busy conquering the world and possibly other kickboxing organisations) there’s still plenty to love about it as ex-champion & 115lb Queen Kanna Asakura is back, as is the 115lb current champ Hamasaki (Hamderlei). If you navigate further down the billing there’s still lots to love as we see ex-UFC punch-man Takeya Mizugaki and Rizin’s residential bad-boy Manel Kape get locked in to exchange fists.
We still haven’t even gotten to guys like Jarred Brooks & Justin Scoggins who are gonna be punching too, and hoping to punch well enough so they can impress Rizin leader Sakikabara and pherhaps earn a shot at the winner of Kyoji VS Kai.
#3 – WEEBO GREATNESS
Right, chances are if you’re reading our Rizin preview you like a bit of the Japanese culture. We totally understand why, and we’re here to help you out. That’s why MiddleEasy is going to encourage your fetishist of their culture. All you need to do is plop down the $25 for the PPV on Fite.Tv and join us on Twitter during the festivities. We’re all just Weebs here.
Rizin always brings it in terms of production quality and all round entertainment value, the intro ceremonies are insane, the ring is beautiful and the limited ruleset they adopt satisfies the violence bloodlust that’s rooted deep in all our subconscious. Everybody wins here!
Rizin Neva Die