The second round of the Rizin FF World Grand Prix took place at the Saitama Super Arena on Thursday afternoon (local time). The main event pitted Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic against Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and saw the Croatian claim a memorable second-round TKO win.
Lawal seemed to be in control when he took Cro Cop down early in the opening round. The referee eventually stood the fighters up, but the American spent enough time in top position firing punches from inside his opponent’s guard to take a commanding lead.
In a two round fight, Lawal knew that another takedown in the second stanza would probably be enough to secure a decision. Cro Cop, however, saw it coming and capitalized in brutal fashion, stuffing the double-leg takedown attempt and then exploding with a flurry of punches.
Lawal found himself trapped in the corner and seconds later the fight was over with the referee diving in to save the Bellator veteran from further punishment. The win sees Cro Cop improve his record to 33-11-2-1 after five straight wins, while the American drops to 20-6.
Cro Cop will face Baruto Kaito (3-0) in the final. The 397-pound giant claimed a unanimous decision win over Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (27-19-2) after spending almost the entire ten-minute fight in top position with the Japanese heavyweight unable to cope with the Estonian’s sheer size.
The other semifinal pits Amir Aliakbari (4-0) against Valentin Moldavsky (5-0) after both men won by unanimous decision. The Ukrainian comfortably beat Szymon Bajor, while the Iranian wrestler had to survive a stirring second-round comeback from Pride veteran Heath Herring (28-15).
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There were also wins for Japanese fighters Tenshin Nasukawa, Kazuyuki Miyata, Rin Nakai, Yuki Motoya, Tatsumitsu Wada, Yusuke Yachi and Satoru Kitaoka.
Rizin FF World Grand Prix 2016: 2nd Round Results
- Mirko Cro Cop def. King Mo Lawal by TKO, Round 2
- Valentin Moldavsky def. Szymon Bajor by Unanimous Decision
- Baruto Kaito def. Tsuoyshi Kosaka by Unanimous Decision
- Amir Aliakbari def. Heath Herring by Unanimous Decision
- Rin Nakai def. Kanako Murata by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 3
- Tenshin Nasukawa def. Nikita Sapun by TKO (Punches), Round 1
- Kazuyuki Miyata def. Andy Souwer by Submission (Armbar), Round 1
- Yuki Motoya def. Allan Nascimento by Split Decision
- Tatsumitsu Wada def. Kai Kara-France by Unanimous Decision
- Yusuke Yachi def. Mario Sismundo by TKO (Flying Knee and Punches), Round 1
- Alyssa Garcia def. Kanna Asakura by Unanimous Decision
- Vadim Nemkov def. Alison Vicente by TKO (Punches), Round 1
- Satoru Kitaoka def. Daron Cruickshank by Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1
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