The second round of the RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 bantamweight tournament did what all good tournaments do: shook things up.
RIZIN’s World Grand Prix 2017 2nd Round went down December 29 (early Friday morning, for those in North America). Airing from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, the card was full of surprises.
Those surprises got underway before the show even started. Hulking jiu-jitsu star Gabi Garcia was pulled from her fight with fifty-three year old pro wrestler Shinobu Kandori prior to the event. Garcia missed weight by over twenty-six pounds, well over the 209lb catchweight limit for the bout.
Once the card was underway, the surprises came by way of upsets. Jae Hoon Moon of South Korea pulled off a split decision win over former UFC fighter Anthony Birchak. Cindy Dandois earned a split decision over King Reina (Reina Miura), who has quickly become one of RIZIN’s biggest stars. Yet the biggest shock was ‘Uncle Creepy’ Ian McCall falling to Manel Kape. After some serious bad blood between the two leading into the bout, McCall wound up suffering a TKO loss due to a doctor’s stoppage.
The pair, who clashed at the weigh-ins, had to be separated as the referee gave his instructions to start the bout. After an early exchange, McCall clinched and scored a takedown. Kape defended with a guillotine, but McCall was already bloodied from a sequence along the ropes prior to the takedown. There, it appeared his forehead had dragged across them prior to a knee landing. Though it was unclear as to which did the damage (the ropes or the knee), one or the other opened him up. After the action was stopped by the ref, the doctor opted to wave off the fight, resulting in Kape getting the TKO victory.
In the main event, Kyoji Horiguchi bucked the upset trend. The Japanese star dropped opponent Gabriel Oliviera early with a jab. Following up with a high kick, he never really let up on the action. Outworking and out-pressuring the Brazilian, he finished things off just prior to the end of round one. Along the ropes, a right hand followed by a left that snapped Oliviera’s head sideways sealed the deal. He went down, and the ref had seen enough, coming in to rescue the fallen fighter. With that, Horiguchi moves on, and continues to be the favorite to win the grand prix.
RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 2nd Round Results:
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Gabriel Oliviera by knockout, Round 1, 4:30 Bantamweight Grand-Prix Quarter-Finals
Manel Kape def. Ian McCall by TKO (Doctor Stopage), Round 1, 1:48 Bantamweight Grand-Prix Quarter-Finals
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Kevin Petshi by knockout, Round 1, 4:30 Bantamweight Grand-Prix Quarter-Finals
Takafumi Otsuka def. Khalid Taha by submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 7:22 Bantamweight Grand-Prix Quarter-Finals
Jiri Prochazka def. Karl Albrektsson by TKO (Punches), Round 1, 9:57
Cindy Dandois def. Reina Miura by split decision
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Baataryn Azjavkhlan by unanimous decision
Jae Hoon Moon def. Anthony Birchak by split decision Bantamweight Grand-Prix Reserve Bout
Kai Asakura def. Kizaemon Saiga by TKO (Punches and Knee), Round 2, 7:36
Kana Watanabe def. Shizuka Sugiyama by unanimous decision
Kiichi Kunimoto def. Satoru Kitaoka by unanimous decision