Kyoji Horiguchi and Daron Cruickshank stole the show at RIZIN 10 on Sunday in Fukuoka, Japan.
RIZIN 10 took place early Sunday for those of us in the west, and what a show the Japanese promotion put on to start their year. With a number of memorable finishes, RIZIN kicked off its 2018 line-up with a blast. Topping the card was a highly anticipated battle of former UFC flyweights. Kyoji Horiguchi had been perfect since leaving the UFC (a promotion he walked away from while on a win streak), and that didn’t change on Sunday.
Instead, Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ian McCall was over before it even started. Off the opening bell the two looked light on their feet, but what was expected to be a protracted battle came to a quick finish when Horiguchi clipped McCall with essentially his first punch, dropping him. Horiguchi swarmed, looking to add follow-up strikes but the ref was already waving it off. It took just nine seconds for Kyoji Horiguchi to seal the deal.
— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) May 6, 2018
In the co-main event, under kickboxing rules, Tenshin Nasukawa had a pair of knockdowns early in the first round, and seemed to wobble opponent Yusaku Nakamura with every strike thrown. Nakamura continually found himself forced to clinch, dragging Tenshin to the ground on several occasions. The fight had the look of an MMA scrap as a result, rather than a kickboxing battle. By rounds’ end, Tenshin had floored his foe several times, but to his credit, Nakamura kept coming back for more.
Round two saw Yusaku Nakamura open with an offensive flurry of his own, connecting on Tenshin and giving him pause. Yet the teenage phenom quickly answered back with a low kick and left hand that sent Nakamura backpedaling into the ropes. A follow-up combo scored another knockdown for Tenshin. Another left by the ropes later bloodied Nakamura. The future of striking in Japan (and arguably the present), Tenshin Nasukawa, still just a teenager despite a 25-0 kickboxing record and 4-0 MMA record starting the night, had his creativity on display thoughtout.
Tenshin is an ALIEN pic.twitter.com/jjgsh6Hp4Q
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 6, 2018
A final 1-2 combination, with the left hand dropping Nakamura, captured the win for Tenshin, who will quickly move to main event status with performances like that.
Earlier in the night, Daron Cruickshank stayed mobile, switched stances, and looked to land an overhand right early. Yet what he did land was a vicious head kick that dropped opponent Koshi Matsumoto instantly.
Oh my, Daron. pic.twitter.com/0tZWOQo56J
— inxxane (@inxxane) May 6, 2018
Cruickshank that stirred up some controversy, flipping off his fallen opponent.
Daron Cruickshank – salute ! pic.twitter.com/S4PmfU2nNv
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 6, 2018
Elsewhere on the card, Kanako Murata scored a second round sub of Lanchana Green, finishing her opponent off with an anaconda choke. That despite taking enough damage earlier in the bout to see her left eye swell nearly completely shut. Also earlier in the night, Manel Kape, the last man to beat McCall before Horiguchi, got his striking going early, even trying out a flying knee. He soon had Kai Asakura on the ground, but couldn’t keep him there. Asakura, prior to the bout, had said he was willing to die in the ring, and both men were looking for a finish. Asakura certainly held his own during the fight, clipping Kape later in the first and forcing him to pull guard in a guillotine attempt, buying time to recover. A little bad blood and showboating between rounds led to another active second round, only this time, it was Kai Asakura scoring the takedown, and staying in control for a good chunk of the round. Yet after three rounds (RIZIN did away with the ten minute first round for RIZIN 10), neither man could find a finish. That led to a split decision from the judges, with Asakura getting the nod.
Yusuke Yachi, meanwhile, faced UFC, WEC, and Bellator vet Diego Nunes. After an active first round, Yachi came out in the second guns blazing. He was quickly backing Nunes up, unloading with combinations until a slip. Nunes moved in, but Yachi fired off several upkicks, at least one of which connected. Nunes crashed down onto Yachi, and ate some more short punches, though he survived the round. In the third, Nunes again found himself on top of Yachi, landing a fair amount of ground and pound. Yet again, he ate a couple of upkicks, leading to Yachi getting back in control. The spirited back-and-forth affair made its way to the judges despite a final flurry. In the end, it was Yachi earning a split decision.
RIZIN 10 Full Results:
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Ian McCall by knockout, Round 1, 0:09
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Yusaku Nakamura by TKO, Round 2 (kickboxing rules)
Kanna Asakura def. Melissa Karagianis by unanimous decision
Yusuke Yachi def. Diego Nunes by split decision
Daron Cruickshank def. Koshi Matsumoto by KO (head kick), Round 1, 3:50
Issei Ishi def. Daishin Sakai by unanimous decision (kickboxing bout)
Kai Asakura def. Manel Kape by split decision
Ante Delija def. Ricardo Prasel by unanimous decision
Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrey Kovalev by split decision
Kanako Murata def. Lanchana Green by submission (anaconda choke), Round 1, 4:52
Hironori Kurogi vs. Tomohiro Kitai ended in a draw (kickboxing bout)