RIZIN 12 Results and Recap

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Yusuke Yachi RIZIN FF
Yusuke Yachi (left) Credit: RIZIN FF

Going to bed late? Staying up early? For those of us in the west, RIZIN 12 was a great way to either finish the night, or start the morning, as the case may be, featuring names like Yusuke Yachi, King Reina, Hatsu Hioki, and Kanako Murata.

Japan’s RIZIN was back in action on Sunday (early in the morning for those of us in the west), just weeks after their last show. This time up it was RIZIN 12, featuring a main event clash between Yusuke Yachi and short-notice replacement Luiz Gustavo. Yachi (20-6) is a lightweight the promotion has been able to build as a star. With six straight wins including victories over Daron Cruickshank, Takanori Gomi, and Diego Nunes, Yachi has begun to turn heads.

At RIZIN 12, he’d face the undefeated Gustavo (8-0) in the main event, who filled in for fellow Brazilian Bruno Carvalho.

Also on the card, former UFC featherweight Hatsu Hioki (29-11-2) looked to correct course when he took on Mikuru Asakura (6-1). After parting ways with the UFC, Hioki had picked up a couple of wins in Pancrase, but has lost his last two. Another UFC alum, Angela Magana (11-9), was looking to snap a six fight losing streak (counting her Ultimate Fighter 20 exhibition bout) when she faced Kanako Murata (7-1). And King Reina (9-1) welcomed Invicta FC matchmaker Kaitlin Young (7-9-1) back from retirement

Check back come fight time at 2AM ET for a recap and full results from the night’s action!

Shota Takiya vs. Syuto Sato

Kickboxing action kicked off RIZIN 12, with an all-Japan affair between Shota Takiya and Syuto Sato. The bout was contested at a catchweight of 117lbs. It was Sato who would score an early knockdown, and had his high kicks landing seemingly at will. Through the first round, Syuto Sato was in control, dumping Takiya almost at will until the final thirty seconds, when Takiya finally came on a little.

Sato was active again early in the second, with leg kicks being the difference. Those forced Takiya to stay outside, though he was a little more active early in the second than he was in the first. Still, by the midway mark he’d eaten a number of significant strikes including a front kick to the face. However Takiya would score a huge knockdown in the final minute, putting Sato face down, only for Sato to score a knockdown of his own shortly after.

Round three opened with Sato landing a kick, and a couple of clinches pausing the action before Takiya landed a left, then a knee, that bloodied Sato. Those blows, and an earlier shin to the face off a kick, had really done some damage to Sato. That forced the doctor to take a look, but the fight would continue. Takiya would land another knee as the round wore on, and the two really turned it up near the midway mark. Sato was forced to breathe through his mouth due to his bloodied nose, and ate a huge left head kick that stunned him. Takiya really took momentum was the clock wore down, capping off a great opening bout.

Shota Takiya def. Syuto Sato by split decision (28-29, 28-25, 28-25)

Shintaro Matsukura vs. Takahiro Okuyama

The second of three straight kickboxing bouts to open the card, and five in total on the night in Nagoya, was up next, this time at lightweight. Matsukura opened with a kick to the body, a move he’d return to more than once. Those blows to the side were heavy. Okuyama switched stances then, making himself less of a target and looking to set up an attack of his own. He would have his best moments at he end of the round, backing Matsukura up against the ropes, then battering him with a left hand.

Round two was a little more reserved, with Okuyama landing several front kicks to the body, but not doing the damage he had in the first. Still, it seemed like he was in control until Matsukura dropped him with a crushing right hand! Okuyama would make it back to his feet, but on the next start, Matsukura would drop him again, earning the finish!

Shintaro Matsukura def. Takahiro Okuyama by knockout, Round 2, 2:30

Ryuki vs. Naoya Ogawa

Another catchweight kickboxing bout say Naoya slightly more active early. He was throwing some heavy punches, but wasn’t landing. Ryuki came on near the midway point, pressing forward, landing an uppercut / left hand combo in the final minute that had Naoya Ogawa backed up to the ropes. Naoya looked to storm back, going upstairs with a kick, but Ryuki blocked that and they headed to a second.

Round two saw an early exchange, with Naoya pressing the action. Surprisingly little clinching in this bout, as Ryuki worked his jab, keeping Naoya on his toes. A fairly even stretch of action in the middle of the round until Ryuki turned it up in the final minute, which forced Naoya to fire back in response. The best moment of the round, however, was a perfectly timed knee by Ryuki that hit home hard on Naoya.

The third frame saw another early exchange, but it was Ryuki with the slight edge through most of the round. Naoya would begin pressing in the final minute, backing his opponent up to the ropes. However Ryuki wisely escaped, at least initially. He’d be backed up again, and instead fire back with an uppercut and a number of other strikes before the bell closed out the bout.

Ryuki def. Naoya Ogawa by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-27)

Kanako Murata vs. Angela Magana

Magana stayed outside early in this strawweight battle, the first MMA bout of the RIZIN 12 card. Murata was willing to stand and trade early, but eventually clinched and scored an early takedown. That saw Murata in side control, looking to land elbows. Magana would push off the ropes to get to her knees and eventually power up only to give up her back in the process, and be taken back down. Up again, down again, and as the round wore on Murata was able to get a number of ground strikes in, while controlling completely. Magana would finish the round on her back, with her only offense coming in the first thirty seconds when they stayed standing.

Murata and Magana exchanged leg kicks early in round two, and it wasn’t long before Murata initiated a clinch. Magana, however, would escape back to the middle of the ring. She worked her jab but was staying well outside to avoid a takedown, making it hard for her to land on Murata. The Japanese fighter then scored a takedown, with just over two minutes remaining in the frame. Murata would slowly lock in a Von Flue choke, with Magana unable to defend. ‘Your Majesty’ vacated the throne with a tap, and the night’s first MMA fight was in the books!

Kanako Murata def. Angela Magana by submission (Von Flue Choke), Round 2, 3:52

Kaito vs. Sho Ogawa

In featherweight kickboxing action, Kaito and Sho Ogawa traded kicks to open the bout, with Ogawa going back to kicks repeatedly, while Kaito split his opponent’s guard and had his hands going. Plenty of back and forth in this one; Ogawa, in the final minute, caught a kick and dropped Kaito with a sweep.

Round two saw Ogawa utilizing leg kicks, while Kaito worked his jab, using his reach to his advantage. Kaito landed a beautiful jumping knee in the second. He went to the body as well, but Ogawa did manage to keep him outside for the most part.

It was Kaito hacking at his opponent’s legs early in round three. In his second fight in just two weeks, he was showing no issues with fatigue, and seemed to have picked up the pace in the final frame. He went to the body with a punch again, as he had in the second round. A kick would land to the body for Kaito, then an uppercut. Ogawa continued to press, but to the halfway point of the third it just wasn’t his round. Kaito, however, unleashed a flurry of strikes with his hands as the final minute hit. Ogawa would then answer back while Kaito covered up. Kaito launched a jumping knee, and they pair would trade right to the bell.

Kaito def. Sho Ogawa by unanimous decision (30-29, 30-29, 29-28)

Roque Martinez vs. Samurai Mark Hunt

Samurai Mark Hunt (who had legally changed his name from Hiyoshi Kuwabara) came out swinging, going to the body and the head. Martinez answered back, catching Hunt with a short shot! Samurai then swung away again, and the two had been standing and banging for over the first minute! Wow. As things slowed a little, Martinz took advantage, landing a couple of big bombs on Hunt! Hunt was rocked, but continued to fire back. More heavy shots from Martinz and a head kick. Hunt was bloodied, wobbled, but still standing. He tossed some leg kicks, while Martinez got a little cocky, lowering his hands. However, Roque Martinez would manage to back Samurai Mark Hunt into the ropes, landing a high kick again, and more big bombs. The ref had finally seen enough, waving it off while Hunt was still trading — but a good call nonetheless as he was badly rocked.

Roque Martinez def. Samurai Mark Hunt by TKO, Round 1, 4:33

Hatsu Hioki vs. Mikuru Asakura

Hioki vs. Asakura stayed upright for the first minute, rather surprising considering Hioki’s skill on the ground. He’d finally shoot for a takedown only to be stuffed; a second attempt later on via a clinch would be reversed. Asakura would land on top when they did go to the ground, and Hioki latched on with a closed guard. Hioki would transition to an arm-bar attempt then scramble back to his feet. There, he’d go to the body with a punch, but it was Asakura who came back with the sudden victory! Asakura launched a left head kick just as Hioki ducked down to change levels. A couple ground strikes followed and the ref waved it off.

Mikuru Asakura def. Hatsu Hioki by KO (head kick and punches), Round 1, 3:45

Taiki Naito vs. Hannya Hashimoto

The final kickboxing bout of the night saw no knockdowns through the first two minutes. However, in the third minute the action was stopped – due to a low blow, however, off an inside leg kick. Hashimoto then scored a knockdown after action had resumed, for the first big moment of the fight. Naito attempted a jumping knee before the end of the frame, and scored with a right hand.

Round two saw Naito chopping at the legs of Hashimoto, and before long, Hashimoto was dropped! He clutched his leg as he went down, an obvious tell that the kicks were having an impact. That was not lost on Naito, who went right back to attacking the legs. Another knockdown, then a third, followed, and that was the fight!

Taiki Naito def. Hannya Hashimoto by TKO, Round 2, 1:53

King Reina vs. Kaitlin Young

Young hit home with a jab early against the returning Kaitlin Young. Reina, however, snapped back Young’s head with a right hand moments later. Reina then closed the distance, initiating a clinch, and while Young tried to defend, Reina would land a throw eventually. Only for Young to get on top, and take the back! King Reina, however, escaped. Young then walked the Japanese fighter down, cutting off the angles as Reina circled. Young then caught her opponent with a pair of high kicks, one the body, the next to the head. Young would land another kick to the head with just over a minute left, while mixing in some leg kicks. Reina would score with an overhand right shortly after.

In the second, Reina was showing some pain in the legs. Young was backing her up, and King Reina was simply outclassed on the feet. Young began landing more and more, with her opponent able to throw in a few right hands that landed. However, at the midway point Reina managed to get the fight down off a caught kick, and get on top. From there, she looked for an arm-bar then took the back. She worked for a rear-naked choke, but Young was able to spin around and free herself, pulling herself up with the ropes. Young tried to battle back to save the round, but King Reina was able to take her down again in the final ten seconds.

An early throw by Reina in round three got the action down, but Young reversed and popped back up. On the feet, Young once again had the clear edge, and her kicks remained deadly, both leg kicks and kicks upstairs. Reina would initiate a clinch at the midway point, and eventually get the fight down, taking the back and looking for a rear-naked choke. However, she couldn’t secure it, and in the end the judges saw it for Kaitlin Young!

Kaitlin Young def. King Reina by unanimous decision 

Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Ryuichiro Sumimura

Former UFC talent Kunimoto got the fight to the ground early thanks to a well-timed takedown, and went to work from half guard. After some ground and pound, he looked for an arm-triangle choke but didn’t have his leg free to pass to the side. What he did have was control, and in the final minute, he pulled through to mount. Sumimura gave up his back to escape some ground and pound, and just before the round came to a close, Ryuichiro Sumimura went out!

Kiichi Kunimoto def. Ryuichiro Sumimura by technical submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 4:59

Yuki Motoya vs. Kazuma Sone

Kazuma Sone was able to take Yuki Motoya down early in the co-main event, but Motoya ingeniously used a guillotine for leverage to walk himself up on the ropes. He’d wind up planted back down, however, and instead Motoya looked to work his way to a triangle. A scramble then led to the pair springing back up, and Motoya locking in another guillotine. Sone escaped through the ring ropes, which led to a warning. They were re-started on the feet (which actually gave an edge to Sone). Sone came with the heat, but they’d head to round two.

Round two saw an early exchange, then Sone taking down Motoya by the ropes. Motoya, however, looked for a submission from bottom. but couldn’t secure anything and instead simply held on, hands clasped. A scramble then lef to Sone on bottom; on the way back up, Motoya tried for another guillotine. The ref would pull them away from the ropes; after Sone pulled free, Motoya would again try for a guillotine. He’d then fire off some knees as the pair worked their way back up. Then, in the final minute, Motoya shot for a takedown, took the back, nearly fell through the ropes, but got the arm under the neck. With a moment to adjust, he had it in quick, and forced Sone to tap!

Yuki Motoya def. Kazuma Sone by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:31

Yusuke Yachi vs. Luiz Gustavo

Luiz Gustavo, a prodigy of Wanderlei Silva (who was in his corner), opened the action with a kick, and as the the first minute unfolded, he chased down Yusuke Yachi, on the attack. Gustavo scored a swift takedown, landing some big punches from the top, but Yachi was able to slow the pace a little from bottom. Gustavo slammed Yachi, and caught him with a soccer kick on the way up. However, Yachi latched on to the Brazilian along the ropes, only to be reversed. Gustavo began unloading with some heavy shots, after which Yachi was showing some damage on the forehead. Gustavo would fire off a jumping knee in the final minute, landing it, but Yachi took it well. They’d head to a second round, having set an impressive pace.

Yachi was firing his jab early, and soon shot for a takedown, with Gustavo being very active defensively. However Yachi stayed on it, and wound up moving to side control. He couldn’t keep Gustavo down long, however. Back on the feet, the Brazilian continued his wild attacks, opening up a cut on Yachi with a combination that required the doctor’s attention. The fight was allowed to continue, and Gustavo absolutely floored Yusuke Yachi! Dropping under a hook in a wild exchange, Luiz Gustavo fired back with a right hand, and dropped the Japanese fighter. That was it, a huge win for Wanderlei Silva’s prodigy, who improved to 9-0 following the victory.

Luiz Gustavo def. Yusuke Yachi by knockout, Round 2, 2:32

RIZIN 12 Results:

Luiz Gustavo def. Yusuke Yachi by knockout, Round 2, 2:32
Yuki Motoya def. Kazuma Sone by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:31
Kiichi Kunimoto def. Ryuichiro Sumimura by technical submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 4:59
Kaitlin Young def. King Reina by unanimous decision
Taiki Naito def. Hannya Hashimoto by TKO, Round 2, 1:53 – kickboxing
Mikuru Asakura def. Hatsu Hioki by KO (head kick and punches), Round 1, 3:45
Roque Martinez def. Samurai Mark Hunt by TKO, Round 1, 4:33
Kaito def. Sho Ogawa by unanimous decision (30-29, 30-29, 29-28) – kickboxing
Kanako Murata def. Angela Magana by submission (Von Flue Choke), Round 2, 3:52
Ryuki def. Naoya Ogawa by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-27) – kickboxing
Shintaro Matsukura def. Takahiro Okuyama by knockout, Round 2, 2:30 – kickboxing
Shota Takiya def. Syuto Sato by split decision (28-29, 28-25, 28-25) – kickboxing

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