MMA is Risen
It's a bloody Easter weekend w/ RIZINx2, Bellator, and UFC
Let’s get going with the first event of our quadruple helping of Easter MMA:
Some excellent and exciting prelims lead us into a big main card with 4 quality fights. First up is Tim Johnson who is at the top of my first parlay of the night. I’ve really liked him in Bellator, but he’s got a tough fight tonight against Linton Vassell. Fingers crossed. Goddamnit. Tim Johnson had that shit before he went for a crazy tackle and Vassell gets the big come-from-behind victory with a partial nod to Johnson’s dumbassery. My early-card parlay dies, as does Tim Johnson’s career resurgence with his third loss in a row. One-time wunderkind Aaron Pico is next.
I’ve got a fire evacuation warning for a wildfire nearby and need to pack a bag, but am trying to pay attention to the fights while I do. Will not be able to type however. 🔥🔥🔥😧
Pico gets the finish in the third against a tough dude. One thing I note is he has his hands glued to his face the entire fight and seems very cautious, despite being well ahead. Sensible for a guy who kept getting knocked out, but his conservatism may be a detriment at some point.
The most interesting fight of the main event to me is next: Corey Anderson vs. Vadim Nemkov. Anderson has been excellent in Bellator, but has a big challenge tonight. It’s a very close and competitive first round and Nemkov looks fast. Corey gets a takedown in the second and is able to get some ground and pound, but Nemkov is very active in defense off his back. Corey gets another takedown in the third and isn’t able to do much damage, but Nemkov is tiring.
Wow, what, something strange is going on here with a possible doctor’s stoppage following a cut to Nemkov’s face. Are we in Japan? Uh oh. Some Bellator weirdness may now fuck up my remaining parlays, which I thought I just won. Fucking no contest. Jeezus christ. Fuck. I lost some serious money on that despite Anderson being well on his way to victory. Bellator@$%^#%$^@^#^
Main event time and I’ve lost my spirit. Now I’ll support a Pitbull upset because my bets went to shit. I want to see the world burn! (Maybe not so good to say with a fire outside.) Quite a walkout from AJ who makes it rain for the fans.
Good competitive fight. Maybe 1-1 after two. AJ is hotdogging a bit much for my liking. Seems like he’s compensating for his performance. I lose track of what’s going on in rounds 3-5, but it seems like Pitbull’s about to win. He’s got eye stigmata so definitely he’s gonna win on Good Friday. He does. The now 18-1 AJ is shocked, but he ain’t got nobody to blame but hisself.
I’m not seeing any updates on the fire at the moment, but apparently they’re working overnight to try to put it out. Godspeed my friends. Hopefully the power doesn’t go out during RIZIN. 👩🏻🚒👨🏻🚒 🙏💪
RIZIN Trigger 3rd
I was reading about AJ whining about his loss and all of a sudden RIZIN Trigger 3rd is on. I totally forgot this was the cage show. The Trigger 1st event was ultra violence, the 2nd was so-so. Let’s see what we get tonight in a short card.
The first fight hits big! It’s a wild back and forth kickboxing bout with both guys whacking the shit out of each other and dropping multiple times. Shoji Ohtani survives. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.
Two so-so fights follow with Grant Bogdanove and Kimihiro Eto coming out with less than impressive wins, though both 2nd round finishes. I remember Eto got absolutely worked by Shiny Aoki in a ONE event a while back.
Instead of an Intermission (though maybe they’ll still have one later - they do) now they’re going to do the ceremonial weigh-ins for tomorrow night’s card. Sort of an interesting idea, but I’m not sure how much I want to watch it, particularly if they’re doing everybody. Gonna go refresh my refreshments.
Anyway, there are definitely more interesting match-ups on RIZIN 35 than we’re used to seeing from RIZIN events as of late. I’m legit curious about half of the fights on the card, which is a big improvement; the foreign fighters definitely help. I’ll be back here on my couch tomorrow night watching.
Back to the action and Shooto Watanabe loses a decision to Takuma Sudo I thought he probably should have won, but he can’t complain too much as he looked disinterested and possibly injured to me. Some serious heavy leather in an entertaining fight as Soya Takaki knocks out Nobuyoshi Nakatsukasa. Masanori Kanehara, a UFC vet with a ton of fights, handles Kazumasa Majima, who falls to 0-3 in RIZIN. Another intermission? Yup.
Just two more fights to top off the card as we lost a good one between Kintaro and Kuramoto. Shrek Sekine vs heavyweight sensation Sudario’s twin brother Takakenshin is up first. Both brothers were kicked out of sumo (for bullying and drugs respectively) and both brothers are now in RIZIN. Takakenshin still hasn’t dropped all of his sumo weight however and tipped the scales at nearly 300 pounds for this open weight fight. Not that it matters (probably), but this brother was better at sumo. Shrek seems like a tough first opponent.
Pretty tentative first round as both fighters are reluctant to strike. I’d say it’s to Takenshin’s advanage to have more time to get comfortable in the fight, or he may just gas. Anyway, he’s looking agile for a 300 pounder, but that’s pretty typical of high-level sumo. Shrek gets a takedown early in the second and starts to take over. Ref calls it after some tough strikes on the ground.
The main event features a rematch between Wanderlei Silva protégé Luiz Gustavo, who we haven’t seen in RIZIN for a minute, and Yusuke Yachi. Last time they fought was the beginning of a death spiral for Yachi (he lost 5 of 6 from there) that he’s just kind of pulled out of, so maybe he’s looking to exorcise some demons. I’m not super confident in his prospects.
Gustavo is crowding Yachi against the cage and throwing some bombs, but Yachi’s bobbing and weaving (and not effectively countering). Gustavo drops Yachi early in the second and proceeds to pound him on the ground. He lets him back up to knock him down again. Goodnight Yachi.
Goodnight all. Be back later for UFC Vegas 51 and RIZIN 35 providing God does not burn me in my sleep.
In the meantime, Happy Easter.
UFC Vegas 51
I don’t generally do UFC at Fight Pizza and that’s not changing, but I’ve always liked Vincente Luque as a fighter, so I’ll just briefly say, wow, bummer dude. Glad I didn’t bet on you in the second when you were +240 like I was very close to doing. Happy Ramadan, Belal.
PS. The wildfire is 75% contained which I guess means we’re only 25% at risk of immolating. Thank you again to all the people who stayed up all night and today fighting that shit. 💪🙏
The clock ticks to Easter Sunday in an hour and RIZIN 35 is cranking up. It’s been a sort of weird, not-amazing set of events so far, so let’s hope for a big finale. Come to think, the Bellator event was awesome till it totally imploded, but that’s just Bellator. Anyway, lots of potentially fun fights to look forward to in the next several hours.
In the early going, two that I’m particularly excited about are Yuki Motoya against Hiro Yaminiha and Koji Takeda at Spike Carlyle. At the top of the card of course are three big title fight rematches.
To start though, we have Mr. Miyu Yamamoto (Kyle Aguon)… motherfucker.
Kyle wins because he sold his soul to the devil or something.
Vugar Karamov had an ugly fight against CHAMPION Yutaka Saito at Tokyo Dome last time out in RIZIN. He probably won, but fouled a bunch and lost a split decision. His buddy Tofiq Musayev (going next weekend at one of the Bellator shows) also lost that night, so I figured that might be the last of Japan for the both of them, but he’s back against Taichi Nakajima. Holy shit, Nakajima was hearty, but Vugar murdered him, putting him out cold with a triangle pulled out of a slick scramble in the first. That was frightening.
Perhaps my favorite fight on the card outside of the main event is next with Yuki Motoya facing off against Alan “Hiro” Yaminiha. Hiro’s part of the Brazilian Bonsai posse and has been great in his last few fights and Motoya is a legit vet. Hiro taunting Motoya to try to get him to strike, but Motoya secures a takedown. Hiro cuts Motoya from the bottom and he’s just leaking. Could easily be stopped in Japan, but the it seems the cut is not quite so bad. Yuki fairly dominates this fight and I’m disappointed in Hiro’s showing.
Next is the latest scary Eastern European Sakakibara has dug up during his trips to various human trafficking hotspots. Will Rihards Bigis be the HW Jiri or Nemkov? Nope! Some abysmal fight IQ leads to gnarly ground and pound and a victory for Shoma Shibisai. Bigis storms into the back to molest Olive Oyl.
The new boy from Bellator Spike Carlyle seems to be having a walkout malfunction, but eventually he makes it out with his big sword. Lame, dude. Should have gone with some He is Risen Kimo Leopoldo shit. Spike faces the tan God, Koji Takeda. Spike is having some trouble in the early going with Takeda wrapping him up and when he finally gets free he’s chewed up by kicks. In the second, Spike is still having trouble so he knees Takeda in the balls then chokes the fucking life out of him. Glory be to God.
The mercurial Kanna Asakura is up next against Surami. She’ll either be terrible, boring, below average, or pretty damn good. Verdict: mostly boring, some pretty damn good flashes. Clear victory.
Intermission. Coffee. Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich.
During the intermission, they announce this one:
Can you say squash match? I mean, it’s not even competitive. Ah well, it’s a pandemic RIZIN rule that Hagiwara has to fight in every event and Koike gets screwed out of the title.
Next up we have a dude who fought Fedor, Randy Couture, Big Nog, and Cro-Cop - basically the Mount Rushmore of Heavyweight MMA, Tsuyoshi Kosaka. He’s unaccountably going against a dude making his debut here, which I’m not sure I get. It’s looking a little ugly at the start, but then he connects with a big looping right and KOs the youngster! Crazy! A brief retirement ceremony follows. Very wholesome.
The next three fights are all title fight rematches, the first of which is Ayaka Hamasaki vs the prodigy Seika Izawa. Ayaka unaccountably lost that (non-title) fight at my last RIZIN show in Japan, but I expect her to come back here looking for some sweet revenge (and get it). Tough first round for Hamasaki; Izawa is tenacious. She’s the real deal. Hamasaki’s on her way to lose a decision.
It occurred to me after Hamasaki’s last few fights that she may just not be that interested in competing in MMA anymore. It’s looking more and more likely. It also may be these young girls have overtaken her. Really seems like the end of an era for women’s JMMA - and the beginning of a new one, with the sort of nuts but exceedingly gifted Izawa.
Frankly I think both of the guys in the next title fight kind of blow, particularly in comparison to Mikuru Asakura and Kleber Koike, or Vugar Karamov for that matter. The journeyman bottom of the division is fighting for the belt. After three rounds, I don’t know who won and don’t much care. (It’s Juntaro Ushiku, which is just kind of funny.)
It’s main event time and this is an exciting one. Satoshi Souza is much improved and very active since his previous loss to Johnny Case, and the loss was kind of weird at that. Case’s activity has been some boxing and domestic violence.
Wow wow wow. He mixes it up with some strikes and pulls a triangle out of nothing. An amazing fight and another first round submission victory for Souza. Bellator fight next please! Sakakibara and Paricky agree.
shiroobi @shiroobiSakakibara Finally we can back foreign talent. We need it for international attention.Also audience want see worldwide talent.I make this event as three title match with revenge. Revenge isn't easy. But Satoshi improve lot.I want see Satoshi vs Patricky. https://t.co/ODVIIEuicB
Good event, probably the best of the weekend after Bellator’s main and co-main fail.
Next up on Fight Pizza, we return to some flicks with Putin-bestie Steven Seagal. Subscribe to get that shit straight to your inbox. Till then 🤜🍕
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