Rizin 44: A Night of Thrilling Fights and Unexpected Twists

Rizin 44, a highly anticipated event in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and kickboxing, took place on Sunday, September 24, 2023. The event was held at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and featured a total of 10 fights, nine of which were MMA bouts and one kickboxing bout.

The main event of the evening was a gripping face-off between former featherweight champion Kleber Koike and former UFC fighter and the first Sengoku featherweight champion Masanori Kanehara. The fight was a display of skill and strategy, with both fighters giving their all. However, it was Kanehara who emerged victorious, winning by unanimous decision.

The co-main event saw former featherweight champion Juntaro Ushiku take on Kyohei Hagiwara. Ushiku was looking to bounce back after a series of losses, and he did just that. He won the fight, also by unanimous decision, proving that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

One of the most anticipated fights of the night was between heavyweight Todd Duffee and Tsuyoshi Sudario. However, due to visa issues, Duffee was unable to make it to Japan, and the fight was postponed to October 1st at the Landmark 6 event.

Despite this setback, the event was not short of action. Other notable fights included Yoshinori Horie’s unanimous decision victory over Spike Carlyle and Rukiya Anpo’s win over Sho Patrick Usami in the only kickboxing bout of the night.

Rizin 44 also saw some impressive finishes. Ramazan Terimov knocked out Takaki Soya in the first round, while Shoma Shibisai submitted Janos Csukas with a kneebar in the first round.

Rizin 44 was a testament to the excitement and unpredictability of MMA and kickboxing. From thrilling fights to unexpected twists, the event had it all. As fans eagerly await the next event, one thing is for sure – Rizin continues to deliver high-quality, action-packed fights that keep fans on the edge of their seats.


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