RIZIN 15 Results and Highlights

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Tenshin Nasukawa
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Kyoji Horiguchi Credit: RIZIN FF

Whether you’re staying up late or getting up early, RIZIN 15 was unfolding in Yokohama on Saturday, with plenty of MMA action to get you through the night.

Japan’s RIZIN FF was back in action Sunday with RIZIN 15, going down at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. With Bellator’s King Mo Lawal facing Jiri Prochazka for RIZIN’s inaugural light heavyweight championship, the card had both a title fight, and star power, as both Tenshin Nasukawa and Kyoji Horiguchi were on the bill.

Airing on PPV via Fite.tv, RIZIN 15 also had Rena Kubota looking to shake off the second of two losses to Kanna Asakura, the only woman to defeat her in her MMA career. The skilled kickboxer and shoot boxer was facing Samantha Jean-Francois.

In the main event, Jiri Prochazka gained revenge as he defeated Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal via third-round TKO. Prochazka wore out Lawal, landing hard shots throughout. Lawal couldn’t take Prochazka down, as Prochazka displayed incredible takedown defence. Lawal ignored his corner throughout the bout and was mostly inactive on the feet as Prochazka was picking him apart. In the third and final round, Lawal was visibly tired and breathing heavy as Prochazka dropped him, and the referee waved off the contest as Lawal was slumped on canvas. Jiri Prochazka wins the inaugural RIZIN light heavyweight championship, and at 26-years old, the future is bright for Prochazka. Endless output and strong knockout power.

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Kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa defeated gutsy Fritz Aldin Blagtan with third-round TKO in the co-main event. Blagtan lasted longer than many of those predicted, but Nasukawa was too much and was clearly a step ahead. A brutal knee to the body folded Blagtan and that is all she wrote. This was Nasukawa’s first win in RIZIN since his exhibition loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr at the last RIZIN event, RIZIN 14. Nasukawa’s kickboxing record is now 30 wins with zero losses.

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National hero Kyoji Horiguchi continues his success in RIZIN with a first-round knockout victory over UFC veteran Ben Nguyen. Horiguchi had his back taken early, but he stayed composed and dropped Nguyen three times before the referee had seen enough. Horiguchi’s win streak is now extended to twelve.

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Afterwards, an offer was proposed to Horiguchi that Horiguchi could face Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell at Madison Square Garden for the Bellator bantamweight title in a rematch at Bellator 222.  Horiguchi defeated Caldwell via third-round Guillotine in their first bout  the RIZIN ring at RIZIN 14. Horiguchi did accept the invitation and it looks like his next bout will be in the Bellator cage.

Roberto Satoshi Souza battled hard against 70-fight veteran Satoru Kitaoka, and after a back-and-forth opening round, the Brazilian grappler stuns Kitaoka on the feet before dropping and stopping him with follow-up shots. Souza said it was a “dream come true” to compete in RIZIN. Holding nine professional wins, Souza scored his second TKO victory.

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In the last bout before the first intermission, Mikuru Asakura mixed takedowns into his attack to defeat previously undefeated Brazilian Luis Gustavo. Gustavo was given a yellow card during the bout for pushing himself through the ropes. He never stopped fighting however, as he threw bombs from start to finish. Ultimately though, Asakura prevailed with the better game plan through three rounds.

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UFC veteran Damien Brown made it 2-0 in the RIZIN ring as he defeated previously undefeated Japanese prospect Koji Takeda. Brown picked Takeda apart on the feet and provided fun scrambles in a fan-friendly bout.

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Manel Kape bounced back to winning ways as he brutalised Japan’s Seiichiro Ito as he won via second-round TKO. A brutal body shot was enough for the referee to way off the bout. One of the more measured performances in Kape’s career. Kape dedicated the fight to his mother, who sadly past away a few months back.

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The ladies started the night strongly within the ring. Despite taking the fight on short notice, Kanako Murata defeats Saray Orozco via a mounted Von Flue choke. Murata used her wrestling to control the bout, whilst landing grounded knees throughout the bout.

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RIZIN 15 Results:

Jiří Procházka def. Muhammad Lawal by knockout (punches), round 3, 3:02 – for the inaugural RIZIN FF light heavyweight championship
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Fritz Aldin Blagtan by technical knockout (knee), round 3, 1:23 – kickboxing bout
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Ben Nguyen by technical knockout (punches), round 1, 2:55
Roberto de Souza def. Satoru Kitaoka by technical knockout (punches), round 2, 3:55
Karl Albrektsson def. Christiano Frohlich by unanimous decision
Rena Kubota def. Samantha Jean-Francois by unanimous decision
Mikuru Asakura def. Luiz Gustavo by unanimous decision
Kana Watanabe def. Justyna Zofia Haba by unanimous decision
Damien Brown def. Toji Takeda by unanimous decision
Manel Kape def. Seiichiro Ito by knockout (punches), round 2, 3:58
Kanako Murata def. Saray Orozco by technical submission (Von Flue choke) round 2, 2:12
Thallisson Ferreira def. Taiga Kawabe by technical knockout (three knockdowns), round 2, 2:33 – kickboxing bout

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