Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation returned to the famed Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Saturday for RIZIN 44.
The 11-fight card was primarily MMA action with a single kickboxing bout mixed in for good measure. For western fight fans willing to stay up late (or get up early), the event featured a handful of familiar names— UFC veteran Masanori Kanehara was in the co-main event, taking on former RIZIN featherweight champ Kleber Koike of Brazil.
Koike, also a former KSW champ, had been stripped off his title previously after missing weight for a fight with Chihiro Suzuki in June. Coupled with a non-title fight loss to Patricio Pitbull last December, it was a bit of a rough patch for Koike. Kanehara, meanwhile, had won three straight, and five of his six fights since exiting the UFC in 2016.
Also in action, former UFC fighter and Bellator star Spike Carlyle, and heavyweight veteran Todd Duffee, who served two stints in the UFC.
Duffee was paired up with former sumo wrestler and RIZIN mainstay Tsuyoshi Sudario (that bout is postponed due to travel issues), while Carlyle, a.k.a. “The Alpha Ginger,” was booked against fellow UFC alum Yoshinori Horie.
RIZIN 44 gets underway at 1AM ET on Sunday, September 24, 2023 with an English stream airing live via Fite.tv. Full results can be found below.
RIZIN 44 Results
Masanori Kanehara def. Kleber Koike by unanimous decision
Juntaro Ushiku def. Kyohei Hagiwara by unanimous decision
Yoshinori Horie def. Spike Carlyle by unanimous decision
Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Todd Duffee — postponed to October 1
Rukiya Anpo def. Sho Patrick Usami by unanimous decision — Kickboxing
Yoshiki Nakahara def. Rikuto Shirakawa by unanimous decision
Kazumasa Majima def. Takeji Yokoyama by unanimous decision
Ryuya Fukuda def. Erson Yamamoto by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 3, 1:37
Taichi Nakajima def. Ryo Okada by unanimous decision
Shoma Shibisai def. Janos Csukas by submission (kneebar), Round 1, 2:27
Ramazan Terimov def. Takaki Soya by knockout, Round 1, 3:15