Rizin 18: Horiguchi vs Asakura – A Night of Surprises and Spectacular Fights

Rizin 18, an event that took place on Sunday, August 18, 2019, at Dolphins Arena in Nagoya, Japan, was a night filled with thrilling fights and unexpected outcomes. The event was broadcast live on FITE TV and featured a total of 13 fights, including 10 MMA bouts and 3 kickboxing bouts.

The main event of the evening was a bantamweight clash between RIZIN and Bellator champion Kyoji Horiguchi and fellow Japanese fighter, Kai Asakura. Horiguchi, who had an impressive record of 28-2, was returning to Japan just two months after defeating Darrion Caldwell for the second time at Bellator 222. Since joining the Japanese promotion in 2017, Horiguchi had gone 9-1 in the promotion, only losing to Tenshin Nasukawa in Kickboxing.

On the other hand, Asakura, with a record of 12-1, had gone a perfect 4-0 in RIZIN since debuting back in December of 2017. Among his RIZIN stint, he had beaten Manel Kape and Thaongsalek Tiger Muay Thai in back-to-back bouts. Despite going to the judges in his last three fights, Asakura had nine stoppage wins, seven via knockout.

The main event ended in a shocking upset as Kai Asakura defeated Kyoji Horiguchi via KO (Punches), in the first round, just 1:07 into the fight. This stunning defeat for Horiguchi was a testament to the unpredictable nature of the sport and the skill of Asakura.

The event also featured super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki, who was back in action. She defeated Amp the Rocket via Submission (Armbar), in the first round, just 3:20 into the fight. DEEP bantamweight champion Victor Henry and former UFC flyweight Jarred Brooks also made their promotional debuts at RIZIN 18.

In addition to the MMA fights, the event also featured kickboxing bouts. Notably, John Wayne Parr competed in kickboxing, where he was looking for his 100th professional win. However, he was defeated by Danilo Zanolini via Split Decision.

Rizin 18 was a night of spectacular fights and surprising outcomes, showcasing the best of both MMA and kickboxing. The event highlighted the unpredictability of the sport and the skill and determination of the fighters. The stunning upset in the main event, in particular, will be remembered as one of the most shocking moments in RIZIN history.


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