The final entry in the RIZIN Fighting Federation Atomweight Grand Prix is official. Kanna Asakura defeated Saori Ishioka at DEEP JEWELS 17 on August 26 to earn entry into the tournament. RIZIN officials confirmed the addition in a press release distributed Wednesday.
Both Asakura and Ishioka had entered their bout last week coming off wins. 29-year old Ishoka (15-11), a veteran of JEWELS and Smackgirl, has been fighting as a pro for the past decade. Yet it was the younger Asakura (8-2), just 19, who got the upper hand, securing a unanimous decision in the fight, which took place in Tokyo, Japan.
Per RIZIN’s press release, Kanna Asakura is quoted as saying after her bout with Ishioka that
“I was very concerned and nervous about this fight, because a lot was at stake, and Ishioka is an extremely tough veteran. In a perfect world, I wanted to finish the fight and enter the GP with my head high, but she was very strong. Ishioka was in this sport since the beginning, when nobody cared about women’s fighting, and since I’m just a newcomer, people may think that there are more fighters who belong in the tournament than me, but I promise you that I will proudly represent Ishioka and everybody who deserves the recognition, and win this tournament.”
Asakura will now face Poland’s Silwia Juskiewicz (7-4) in the opening round of the Grand Prix. The event will go down October 15 at the Fukuoka Marine Messe in Fukuoka, Japan.