Nearly three years later, Invicta FC camp Jinh Yu Frey will finally get her shot at a rematch with rival Ayaka Hamasaki, at the upcoming RIZIN 16.
Hot on the heels of RIZIN 15 in April, Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation has announced a handful of fights for their next event. RIZIN 16 is set to feature a champ vs. champ battle, as RIZIN women’s super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki will face Invicta FC atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. It’s another cross-promotional effort from the Japanese MMA organization, who have also teamed up with Bellator MMA a handful of times. Hamasaki’s title will be on the line for the fight. The promotion announced the news in a press conference and subsequent press release Wednesday.
Hamasaki (17-2) and Frey (8–3) have fought before. They first met in 2016 at Invicta FC 16. Hamasaki, then the Invicta FC atomweight champ, won the fight after a doctor’s stoppage due to a cut suffered by Frey. However, to that point, it had been a competitive contest. Frey later complained that the fight was stopped too soon, and that the cut man should have been given a chance to do his job, given the stoppage was late in the second round.
A rematch was hotly anticipated. However, instead, Hamasaki moved up in weight in a losing effort against Livia Renata Souza at strawweight, then left Invicta and joined RIZIN. She has won all three of her bouts in the promotion thus far, claiming the promotion’s super atomweight title at RIZIN 14 in December. Two of those three wins have come via submission.
Frey, meanwhile, bounced back with a win over Ashley Cummins in 2017 after losing to Hamasaki, then came up short in a bid for the ROAD FC atomweight title against Seo Hee Ham. Returning to Invicta, she has won two straight, winning and defending the title against Minna Grusander in back-to-back fights.
Also added to the RIZIN 16 card, another super atomweight bout will see Kanna Asakura (14-3) take on Miyuu Yamamoto (4-3), sister of the late Kid Yamamoto. A world champion wrestler, Miyuu Yamamoto has spent her entire fighting career in RIZIN, and will enter the fight on a three-fight win streak.
At heavyweight, meanwhile, Roque Martinez (13-5-2) will face Jake Heun (11-9). Martinez was last seen in a losing effort against Mirko Cro-Cop, while Heun has lost three straight.
At bantamweight, Erson Yamamoto (2-4), son of Miyuu Yamamoto, is set to take on Tim Eschtruth (4-1). Kickboxing action will also join the card, with ITTO vs Kan Nakamura and Kunitaka vs Kizaemon Saiga.
Finally, breakout star Tenshin Nasukawa will return once again, this time aiming to challenge for the ISKA Featherweight title. An opponent has yet to be confirmed for the match.
RIZIN 16 takes place at the Kobe World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan on June 2, 2019.