Tenshin Nasukawa went into hyper speed in in an effort to finish Kyoji Horiguchi in the third round of their main event clash at RIZIN 13 in Saitama, Japan on Sunday, but couldn’t find a means to put him away.
The 20-year-old kickboxing sensation launched himself into two rolling thunders in the final round, appearing to crack the MMA fighter who changed over to the striking discipline for the bout.
Horiguchi’s defensive work was masterful in the second. He caught a cartwheel kick of Tenshin’s before evading several more spectacular kicks with his deft head movement. Unfortunately, he got caught with two low blows, which didn’t help his chances when the odds were already stacked against him.
Tenshin gave an early sign of intent in the opening round when he fed Horiguchi a high kick. The Japanese MMA star fired back with a powerful left-right combination before the first round ended.
The crowd in Saitama and those watching around the world marvelled at Horiguchi’s durability as he ate everything that the unbeaten striking supremo could throw at him.
Speaking after being awarded a unanimous decision win, Tenshin thanks Horiguchi for helping him sell out the event.
In about that took place after the main event due to a Japanese typhoon, Daron Cruickshank handed Diego Brandao a devastating knockout loss when he connected with a flying knee as the Brazilian looked to take him down at the midway point of the first round of their lightweight clash.
A week on from the death of her brother and MMA icon, Norifumi Yamamoto, Miyuu Yamamoto dedicated a one-sided win over Andy Nguyen to the legend’s memory.
The decorated wrestler used her takedowns skills to get Nguyen down in all three rounds. She landed measured shots from top position as Nguyen desperately tried to find a way out from underneath her.
RIZIN opened the show with a video tribute to the great Japanese fighter, whose death sent shockwaves through the MMA world earlier this month. Yamamoto shared an emotional moment with her family in her corner after the win.
She improved to 3-3-0 with the win.
43-year-old Mirko Cro Cop ended his heavyweight clash with Roque Martinez with a well-timed elbow over the top at the midway point of the opening round.
As Martinez held him against the ropes, the legendary heavyweight brought him elbow slashing down across his opponent’s forehead. Although Martinez definitely wanted to continue, the doctor deemed his injury too severe to rejoin the contest.
Cro Cop is now on a nine-fight win streak.
Earlier in the night, Bob Sapp got the unanimous decision nod after three bizarre rounds with Egyptian sumo wrestler, Kintaro Osunaarashi, who made his MMA debut in the open weight bout.
The win marks Sapp’s fourth over the last decade in 21 fights, across multiple codes.
Osunaarashi exploded out of his corner from the first bell. After attempting to land a tornado of strikes as Sapp covered up for the opening 30 seconds, the Egyptian faded along with the American. The duo seemed to choose moments to explode over the opening three-minute round.
Sapp countered a takedown at the beginning of the second and controlled much of the action from mount. The third round was more of a staring contest than a fight. The bout likely broke a record for most warnings from a referee due to inactivity.
Earlier in the night, Haruo Ochi scored a brutal soccer kick knockout of Mitsuhisa Sunabe in the third round of their 117-pound clash. Ochi crumbled his opponent to the canvas with a right hand before rendering him unconscious with soccer kick.
Check out full RIZIN 13 results here. The card had to be rescheduled due to a typhoon in the region, with the main event taking place earlier than first scheduled to facilitate locals travelling to the event.