Seika Izawa on Jillian DeCoursey “Would Be Nice to Have the Belts on the Line”
Seika Izawa bested Si Woo Park via Split Decision at RIZIN 40 on December 31st. In doing so, Izawa won the super atomweight grand prix championship.
Izawa appeared on Bowks Talking Bouts once again and discussed her monumental 2022 run, atomweight title aspirations with Invicta FC and DEEP Jewels, plus so much more. Excerpts from our chat are below.
The feelings Izawa had when she cemented herself as the Rizin super atomweight grand prix champion to end 2022. Plus, if she thought she had done enough to earn the razor-thin verdict
“You know I actually didn’t feel like I won that grand prix on New Year’s Eve… Oh so, Dylan, it’s nothing like that. I actually think I believe I won the fight against Park. But compared to other grand prix’s like they fight twice in one night. So for me, this grand prix was just a one-off. Compared to all the other grand prix finals, I felt like this was just a single individual fight. So in that means, I feel like I didn’t win a grand prix final.”
If this second Rizin NYE appearance felt bigger in scope with the ballyhooed Rizin versus Bellator elements bolstering the attention on things
“So for my fight personally, it didn’t really make too much of a difference. I didn’t feel any difference. But the event itself last year, last New Year’s Eve was the whole Bellator versus Rizin thing, that carried a lot of attention. The atmosphere was amazing for that.”
“I can only speak from my feelings and what I felt but yeah, I do feel that last New Year’s Eve had had more attention. Because the whole Japanese culture likes to challenge themselves internationally to all countries. So that whole concept of Rizin versus Bellator, the Japanese content taking on international content, it just meant so much for the fighters, the fans, everybody. The anticipation was great. I felt that it was much greater for this one.”
The interest level in a possible cross-promotional effort to challenge Invicta FC atomweight champion Jillian DeCoursey. Plus, her hope to pull away from her history of taking on champions in non-title fights before eventual championship bids ala Izawa’s DEEP Jewels and Rizin runs
“So when you look around international promotions, it’s really rare to find a legitimate active atomweight division. So when the Invicta atomweight champion called me out and put my name out, I was very honored to hear that. If that fight would happen, I would want to take that fight… I actually have no idea how those negotiations go. But I think the more demand this matchup gets, I think the higher the chances are on this fight happening.”
“Earning the belt, winning the belt, it’s sooner the better. So if anything were to happen, it would be nice to have the belts on the line.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.