On August 9 and 10, RIZIN Fighting Federation made a triumphant return with back to back events.
This is BROADENED HORIZIN. The MMA podcast show hosted by Drake Riggs where we chat with your favorite Japanese and RIZIN superstars… in English!
The inaugural episode featured a stacked lineup of guests.
At RIZIN 22 on August 9, Naoki Inoue (14-2) and Ayaka Hamasaki (20-3) earned victories in rather impressive fashions. For the 135-pound prospect in Inoue, defeating Shooto Watanabe in a minute and 40 seconds via rear-naked choke was his third quickest win.
The 23-year old’s appearance at the event was his second in the promotion. Having gotten the debut out of the way accompanied by a smaller crowd, Inoue shared how the Watanabe fight was a more comfortable overall setting. Hoping to make his dreams of becoming a champion a reality in a year or two, the brother of Mizuki just knows he has to keep winning every fight.
When it comes to arguably the greatest atomweight fighter of all time, Ayaka Hamasaki, she fought in the co-main event attempting to rebound off of her New Year’s title loss. Despite now being 38, Hamasaki looked as good as ever as she displayed her striking against Tomo Maesawa before finding a kimura in round two.
Now, Hamasaki has her eyes on getting her belt back with a fourth fight against Seo Hee Ham. After achieving that, maybe the legend will consider calling it a career.
Throughout Hamasaki’s run, she was provided with the aid of one of the best to ever do it, Megumi Fujii (26-3).
Catching up with “Mega Megu” after the conclusion of Becoming ‘Mega Megu’: The Megumi Fujii Story, she shared what kind of feedback she received from fans, fighters, and friends. There was even some contemplation regarding a possible comeback.
RIZIN 23 was capped off with the crowning of a new bantamweight champion. In the end, it would be Kai Asakura (15-2) who made the most of the vacant title opportunity by finishing Hiromasa Ogikubo in just a single round.
Two of Asakura’s three previous wins were easily the biggest of his career. He discussed which one was bigger and why as well as when his next fight — or fights — could be. The champion also expressed interest in following in Kyoji Horiguchi’s steps by attempting to become a Bellator titleholder.
All that and more on BROADENED HORIZIN! Watch the full episode in the video above or you can listen on the Loudmouth MMA Podcast Network.