News broke this week that Floyd Mayweather is back in action and returning to RIZIN in September to take on one Mikuru Asakura. Mayweather first fought in RIZIN in 2018 when he fought kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa, who he knocked out in the first round despite it being an exhibition. Mayweather went on to fight Logan Paul and Don Moore in boxing exhibitions as well. His next is the cult-figure Asakura. So who is Mikuru Asakura? I’m here to catch you guys up to speed.
— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) June 14, 2022
Mikuru Asakura is the brother of Kai Asakura, the former RIZIN champion. The two train at Tri-Force Jiu Jitsu Academy in Tokyo, Japan. Mikuru has a very impressive 16-3 fight record with eight knockouts. Asakura hits heavy and fights wild. He is assuredly always in an exciting fight.
Bold and Brash: Mikuru Asakura
While Tenshin Nasukawa may be the biggest kickboxing star in Japan and his brother the former RIZIN champion, Mikuru Asakura is a massive star in his home country of Japan. Looking through his social media stats, he has an impressive 647k followers on Instagram, 571k on Twitter, and most impressively, an astounding 2.42 million subscribers on YouTube.
Asakura is brash and some have even compared him to Conor McGregor. In April of 2022, Mikuru Asakura filmed himself throwing sweets and food off a roof and then one million yen (approximately $7397 USD) for his YouTube channel. He drew criticism for using the moment for his YouTube and laughing at the crowd. He eventually put a filter to hide the faces of the crowd below.
Asakura said ahead of the fight that he doesn’t intend to train boxing for this fight and believes fighting as an MMA fighter in a limited ruleset could play out in his advantage.
But don’t let these boastful acts turn you off of Asakura. He can crack. His hands are fast and he packs a nasty high kick, which won’t help him against Mayweather. Check out his last knockout of Satoshi Yamasu at RIZIN 26 above. He pressures and when Mikuru Asakura smells blood, he goes for the kill.
Will all this help him in an exhibition fight against Floyd Mayweather? Probably not. Mayweather is a boxer and the two will be boxing. Conor McGregor and Tenshin Nasukawa tried, and to be honest, their hands are better than Asakura’s. But one thing Mikuru Asakura brings to the table is eyes on the screen and asses in the seat. That’s what RIZIN is looking at right now as Nobuyuki Sakakibara is struggling once again with ties to the Yakuza and having RIZIN potentially circling the drain. RIZIN may benefit from all the eyeballs Floyd Mayweather will bring back to the promotion and that could keep them afloat, or it could sink them. Time will tell.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.