To end 2018's golden year the Japanese held the 14X Rizin Fighting Federation on Monday (31 in December), keeping the Eastern tradition of performing MMA fights at the turn of the year.
And it's no wonder that the specialized media around the world have been classifying the event as "the new Pride", since only this last show brought together almost 30 thousand people at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
In the main event, and undoubtedly the most anticipated bout of programming, we had a showdown where controversial undefeated professional boxer Floyd Mawyeather Jr competed for the first time in an MMA event, even though in a fight under the rules of boxing.
He needed only one round to beat Japanese star Kickboxing Tenshin Nasukawa with a technical knockout.
Although the victory was not counted in the professional poster of Mayweather, being a fight of exhibition, the American valued the work of the Rizin and the own Tenshin to make the spectacle happen.
- "We remain undefeated. I have no pretensions of going back to boxing. Tenshin is still undefeated and champion. It's all about entertainment. I received the offer and said, why not? "- commented the fighter.
ESPN Brazil reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr's handbag for this fight was 88 million dollars, but according to sources in the Japanese press, the exchange for the fight show Floyd received was 9 million dollars, still an unthinkable value in any MMA event in the world, but if it is an athlete the size of Mayweather is still a value within expectations.
In the co-main event, there was an unprecedented duel between organizations, where Rizin's rooster champion Kyoji Horiguchi (also a former UFC) faced Bellator champion Darrion Caldwell of the United States.
The fight was much disputed and the guillotine inserted by Horiguchi to sacramentar the victory came only in the third round.
Now the Japanese continue as champion in Rizin Fighting, while American Caldwell is due back to Bellator, his original home and partner organization of Japan's largest MMA franchise today.
In the confrontation between Brazilians, Gabi Garcia, a Jiu-Jitsu world champion and undefeated in MMA, came to defend her perfect lineup against compatriot Barbara Nepomuceno, a former WGP champion and MMA newcomer. After applying blows on the striking and shortening the distance, Gabi took it down, reached the one hundred kilos and applied his dreaded American to ensure victory without major problems.
Still in the ring, after the win, Gabi was challenged by veteran Shinobu Kandori of 54 years, which was held by security guards and members of the technical staff. The two of them should have fought on 2016, but the Japanese girl injured the rib at the time. The following year, in 2017, the Brazilian had a problem with the cut of weight and the duel was canceled. The fight is expected to happen now in 2019.
Speaking of women, who also left Rizin 14 with a belt (like Horiguchi) was the Japanese Ayaka Hamasaki. Acting at home (Tokyo), Ayaka finished her compatriot Kanna Asakura in the second round, with an arm wrench, to take the inaugural title of the female super-atom division.
Another fighter participant of the show and worthy of attention was the Japanese Kana Watanabe. She participated in the Rizin Last Heisei Yarennoka 'Rizin Last Supper' on Monday morning, a sort of "warm-up" before the main show, Rizin 14.
In a duel that ended very quickly, Judge Watanabe hit two punches in the chin of his compatriot, Shizuka Sugiyama, who ended up erasing and only woke up with the referee's interruption.
Kana's opponent even complained to the referee about the interruption, but only realized what had happened in an interview after the fight.
The event also featured other good knockouts, such as Jiri Prochazka's, and other finals involving names like the victorious Damien Brown and Yuki Motoy.
Rizin Fighting Federation 14
31 December 2018
Saitama Super Arena
Main Card: Rizin 14
Floyd Mayweather beat Tenshin Nasukawa by TKO (discontinuation) of R2 20min1s (BOXING)
Kyoji Horiguchi finalized Darrion Caldwell with a guillotine at 3R
Ayaka Hamasaki finalized Kanna Asakura with an arm wrench in 2R
Jiri Prochazka defeated Brandon Halsey by TKO on 1R
Gabi Garcia finalized Barbara Nepomuceno with an American key in 1R
Damien Brown has finalized Daron Cruickshank with a guillotine at 1R
Miyuu Yamamoto defeated Mika Nagano by unanimous decision of the judges
Preliminary card: Rizin Last Heisei Yarennoka
Kazuyuki Miyata has finished Erson Yamamoto on 2R
Johnny Case defeated Yusuke Yachi by TKO on 2R
Yuki Motoya finalized Justin Scoggins on 1R
Ulka Sasaki defeated Manel Kape by unanimous decision of the jurors
Justyna Zofia Haba finalized Shinju Nozawa-Auclair on 2R
Tofiq Musaev defeated Nobumitsu Osawa by TKO on 2R
Kana Watanabe defeated Shizuka Sugiyama by TKO on 1R
* Text from the collaborator Oriosvaldo Costa. | Written in 1 / 1 / 2019