Rizin 30: The Advancement of Bantamweight Grand Prix Semifinalists

Rizin 30, a thrilling mixed martial arts and kickboxing event, took place on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event was a spectacle of ten fights, featuring nine MMA bouts and one kickboxing bout, each showcasing the prowess and skill of the fighters.

The main event of the evening was the continuation of the promotion’s bantamweight grand prix. Four quarterfinal fights saw the bantamweight tournament narrowed down to the final four fighters. Kai Asakura, Naoki Inoue, Hiromasa Ougikubo, and Kenta Takizawa all earned their spots in the grand prix semifinals.

Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Kai Asakura had to put in the work to get past a game Alan Yamaniha. Asakura hurt Yamaniha with multiple attacks to the body in the opening round. Yamaniha survived, coming back stronger in the following rounds with left overhands and takedown attempts. The third round was close, but Asakura ultimately came out victorious via unanimous decision.

Naoki Inoue and Hiromasa Ougikubo also advanced to the semifinals with unanimous decision wins. Inoue defeated Yuto Hokamura, while Ougikubo got past Takafumi Otsuka. The lone stoppage among the quarterfinal fights saw Kenta Takizawa stop the well-known Yuki Motoya with punches in the opening round.

In a non-title fight, RIZIN super atomweight champ Ayaka Hamasaki defeated veteran Emi Fujino. This victory further solidified Hamasaki’s position as a dominant force in the super atomweight division.

Other notable fights included Yusuke Yachi’s unanimous decision victory over Koji Takeda and Yoshinori Horie’s unanimous decision win over Yuta Sasaki. Shinobu Ota also claimed a unanimous decision victory over Yuta Kubo, while Shoji Maruyama defeated Chihiro Suzuki by KO in the first round.

The event also featured a kickboxing bout, with Rina Okamoto defeating Momoka Mandokoro by unanimous decision. This fight added a different flavor to the event, showcasing the striking skills of the two kickboxers.

Rizin 30 was a testament to the high level of competition in the RIZIN Fighting Federation. The event not only provided thrilling fights but also set the stage for the upcoming bantamweight grand prix semifinals. With the advancement of Asakura, Inoue, Ougikubo, and Takizawa, fans can look forward to more exciting bouts in the near future.


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