PRIDE never die. Well, PRIDE rules never die, anyway. At least not at RIZIN 23, where budding star Kai Asakura soccer kicked his way to gold.
Fighting for the title vacated by Manel Kape after he jumped ship to the UFC, Asakura knocked out veteran Hiromasa Ogikibo with soccer kicks in the opening round of the RIZIN 23 main event. It was Asakura’s second straight shot at gold, after coming up short against Kape in his last bout. Prior to that, however, the 26-year old had won six straight in RIZIN, including an earlier win against Kape, and victories over Kyoji Horiguchi and Ulka Sasaki, both veterans of the UFC octagon.
Elsewhere on the card, Yuki Motoya defeated Mamoru Uoi via third-round submission, while former (and inaugural) ONE Championship lightweight champ Kotetsu Boku lost a unanimous decision to Jin Aoi.
Full results from the event, the second of back-to-back cards in Yokohama, Japan, can be found below.
RIZIN 23: Akakura vs. Ogikubo Results
Kai Asakura def. Hiromasa Ogikubo by knockout (soccer kicks), Round 1 – for the vacant RIZIN bantamweight title
Yuki Motoya def. Mamoru Uoi by submission (guillotine choke), Round 3
Yutaka Saito def. Kazumasa Majima by knockout (knees), Round 2
Jin Aoi def. Kotetsu Boku by unanimous decision
Makoto Shinryu def. Seiichiro Ito by submission (flying guillotine choke), Round 2
Tatsuki Saomoto def. Yusaku Nakamura by knockout (punches), Round 1