Fight Facts: Rizin FF 18

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 20, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and ring rarities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Rizin Fighting Federation on Sunday stopped in Nagoya, Japan, with an event that was relatively light on name recognition but delivered great action from start to finish. Rizin 18 featured an incredibly rare reverse triangle armbar, a shocking knockout of an organizational star and a fighter tying the promotional record for most submissions.

PRACTICALLY EVERY OTHER SHOW: Two fighters -- Kyoji Horiguchi and Kanna Asakura -- each competed for the 10th time inside the Rizin ring, tying them with Jiri Prochazka for the most appearances in company history.

WHAT IS THE POINT?: Horiguchi and Asakura hold belts in their respective Rizin divisions. Despite this fact, both took non-title fights at this event, with mixed results.

HORIGOTTEN TO: As a 6:1 favorite, Horiguchi was knocked out in the first round by Kai Asakura. This was the first time Horiguchi had ever been stopped by strikes.

KILLER KAI: Asakura needed only 68 seconds to dispatch Horiguchi, scoring the third-fastest finish in Rizin bantamweight history. Only Horiguchi’s nine-second demolition of Ian McCall and Thanongsaklek Chuwattana’s 66-second drubbing of Tadaaki Yamamoto came quicker at 135 pounds.

NOT SO FAST, MR. RIZIN: Coming in with a Rizin record of 9-0, Horiguchi was the only fighter in the organization with more than six appearances to go unbeaten under MMA rules. With Horiguchi’s loss, Mirko Filipovic (6-0) now holds the record for the longest winning streak without ever losing in Rizin history.

THREE ARMS DOWN: By tapping Suwanan Boonsorn with an armbar, Ayaka Hamasaki tied three other fighters -- Gabi Garcia, Kanako Murata and Kron Gracie -- for the most submission wins in Rizin history with three.

TAKE A TRIANGLE, CARESS IT, AND IT WILL TURN VICIOUS: Victor Henry pulled off a rare submission when he hit Trent Girdham with a reverse triangle armbar in the third round. This is the first submission of its kind in promotional history. We have seen this maneuver a few times before in major MMA competition: Erick Silva snared Jason High at UFC on Fuel 10 in 2013 and Sarah D'Alelio tapped Vanessa Porto at Invicta Fighting Championships 2 in 2012.

ANGOLAN ASSAULT: By smashing Takeya Mizugaki with a vicious two-punch combination, Manel Kape scored his fourth knockout under the Rizin banner. The only fighters in Rizin history with more stoppages from strikes are Prochazka (seven), Horiguchi (five) and Filipovic (five).

A TRUE PRODIGIO: Across Kape’s 14 career victories, 13 have come by stoppage.

THE ASAKURA NAME IS STRONG: In taking a close decision over Alesha Zappitella, Kanna Asakura tied Rena Kubota for the most wins of any female fighter in promotional history.

MAXIMUM CAGE TIME: By winning on the scorecards for the fifth time, Kanna Asakura tied former opponent Miyuu Yamamoto for the most decision victories in company history.

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: Kanna Asakura competed on the same card as kickboxing legend John Wayne Parr. When Parr made his first kickboxing appearance in May 1997, she was still five months away from being born.

DRAWING STRAWS: The meeting between Haruo Ochi and Jarred Brooks took place within the men’s strawweight division, making it the second contested bout at this diminutive weight class. The first came at Rizin 13, where Ochi also competed and knocked out Mitsuhisa Sunabe with a punch and follow-up soccer kicks.

HOW MAD WOULD YOU BE?: While closing the distance, Ochi and Brooks clashed heads, and within 11 seconds, the referee stopped the action to check on a cut that opened up on Ochi’s forehead. With the fight ruled a no-contest, it became the quickest no-contest in company history. Previously, Gabi Garcia poked Oksana Gagloeva in the eye at Rizin 6 in 2017 just 16 seconds into their encounter.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Rizin 18, Yves Landu had never been knocked out (22 fights), Ai Shimizu had never fought out of the second round (six fights) and Tabatha Ann Watkins had never lost on the scorecards (five fights).

NIGHTTIME AIN’T NO TIME TO BE IN THIS HERE NEIGHBORHOOD: As is customary for a Horiguchi walkout, he used “My Time” by Fabolous featuring Jeremih. He lost for the first time in Rizin while using the track. Horiguchi did suffer a defeat in the past to Tenshin Nasukawa, but that was under kickboxing rules.

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.

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