RIZIN 25 Fight Diary
There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.
― Lemony Snicket
I almost didn’t write about this event. Honestly, I don’t how much I will write. We’ll just have to see. But considering I started this blog with a post about (a somewhat lackluster) RIZIN 21 and continued it during the dead COVID months by watching old PRIDE shows, it would be kind of fucked up if I totally blew off a RIZIN show. So here I am, though I don’t promise to pay total attention and I will have done zero research before the event, so honestly I have no idea who some of these dudes are.
Before you go all J-Kick hipster on me, yes, I’m looking forward to some of the card (namely the top two fights), but I am certainly in no way overwhelmed with the goodness and will probably be following the sumo tournament and/or Japan Series baseball running at the same time more closely - who’s the hipster now?? As it is, I am under no obligation to eat up everything RIZIN does and call it chocolate cake.
Additionally, Full Metal Dojo’s Fight Circus 2 is tomorrow and Fight Circus 1 made me equal bits totally uncomfortable and wildly entertained; I need to see more. I know where my bread is buttered and where to devote my posting energy. (Sadly, there is no buttering and there is no bread.) Enough of the preamble. Onward.
So I’m totally ready to go and prepared to watch at least the first few fights on the RIZIN 25 preview stream. I got snacks. I got sumo on the iPad and I’m stoked and ready to go. (The stuffed animals were a gift from my mother-in-law.) And the fucking RIZIN preview stream is AUDIO ONLY. Jeezus Christ RIZIN… this card is totally mediocre, yet you’re charging 50 bucks for it and I can’t even get a couple fights preview on a ten-fight card. Well then… guess I’ll be watching sumo after all and Twitter to follow RIZIN… or…
Captain Christopher, avast ye this way and doff sails or some shit! However, scallywag that he is, C.C. prevents me from commenting directly on things I may have or haven’t hypothetically seen and/or otherwise witnessed in a totally legitimate manner and/or totally illegitimately herewith ipso facto etcetera etcetera. Disclaimer claimed.
Hypothetically, were I to be watching RIZIN 25, I would say the first fight of the night could have opened a bad ONE card, much as I predicted during last night’s bad ONE card.
[Just to be clear, everything that follows should be prefaced with “hypothetically” “potentially” or “allegedly,” and/or is gleaned solely from tweets and/or other SMS. For example, in the next contest (according to Twitter), it appears two (alleged) 16-year olds kicked each other in a (hypothetically) superior fashion to the previous fight of the first two gentlemen.] Thirdly, we have Boku, and I don’t need to watch to know I don’t want to watch. Dude definitely should have retired after his last fight, but RIZIN is paying him to fight, so whatever, it’s his job after all. I ain’t interested though.
“No, I said a number TWO and a SPRITE.”
Next we have a guy who seems like really, really tall but I think he’s like 6’4” which is tall but not like insane. I remember him from the presser standing next to all the 5’8” or shorter fighters. He’s had his hands at his waist the whole fight and and if he didn’t have the crazy range he would have been knocked out by now. I think he’s a bit new to this type of fighting (no research remember!), so maybe he’ll improve. Anyway, really bad fight. We’re shooting 1 for 4 at this point RIZIN, with the 12 year olds giving the only decent scrap.
I previewed this next fight earlier, with Taiga losing by…
Holy shit, we’re almost (hypothetically) out of round 2 (according to Instagram) and I think Taiga’s winning! And he does win and calls out Kouzi after the fight. Guess he’s not interested in putting together two in a row. Next up…
(I’m referring to the 24-year old Kyohei Hagiwara who has fought in seemingly every RIZIN this year.)
He just knocked the dude out in like 15 seconds. Noice.
Now we have some totally bizarre grappling demo…
But then Bass-o-matic seems to set up Kleber Koike Erbst (who was participating in the infomercial) with the winner of the main event tonight, so it was all worth it. 🤗
Next up we have four fairly legitimate MMA bouts culminating with the inaugural RIZIN featherweight title bout. First is a close, competitive fight fight between Daichi Kitakata and Tatsuki Saomoto. Kitakata lost in ONE last year to Yosuke Saruta, who is a real talent, and he loses again. Both talented guys though in RIZIN’s flyweight division. Maybe that could be the next Grand Prix for RIZIN?
Not a bad time though as the sumo is heating up and we have some meaningful matches happening now. If you’re interested, Terunofuji just won and if Takakeisho also wins (he won), there’s a chance they’ll have a play-off tomorrow. That is all.
Some terrible welterweight fight with dudes I’ve never heard of (one of whom I’ve actually seen fight live 😂).
In the next fight it’s time for the (RIZIN) big names, Hiromasa Ougikubo, who needs a solid win here or maybe he needs to start thinking about making some life changes. Kenta Takizawa is loooong though and keeping him at bay early, even doing some damage in the first round. Going into the third, I’d say Ougikubo is winning, but not by any great margin. Would think he’d go for some takedowns and control in the third, which he does after a big knockdown, and takes the fight. Not a great showing I’d say. I’m not really sure what his options are going forward, though I seem to be in the minority by the look of Twitter who seem to be happy with his performance.
Main event time with Mikuru Asakura against Yutaka Saito. You have to say it’d be kind of hilarious for Mikuru to blow this one, considering what a cocky prick he is (in a good way), but it seems very unlikely. Still it’s enough of a possibility that I’m interested to watch. Just in case!
And (after a lengthy delay) we’re back and finish a fairly even first round. Pretty good action in the second with both fighters taking some advantage. Saito trying to take the fight to the ground and Mikuru stalling and/or grabbing the ropes. If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!
We see an absolutely wild finish to the fight as in the final thirty seconds Asakura baits Saito into slugging with him and (I thought) stole the victory, but the judges see through his ruse and award the UD to Saito. I think they must have strongly counted Asakura’s fouls against him as otherwise I’d say he definitely was more of a threat to finish in the last moments and probably deserved the win.
And that’s that. The crazy upset makes for a nice finish to an underwhelming night. I don’t remember RIZIN 24 well enough to say if it was better or worse than RIZIN 25 but I suspect the former. Going back and looking at my post, I’ll say that yes, RIZIN 24 was superior and at the time I thought RIZIN 24 kind of sucked. So that’s not looking good for RIZIN 25. I mean, COVID yeah, of course, but I don’t think RIZIN has helped themselves much with their business decisions, notably on pricing and availability. I’ll just try to be pleasant about it however and hope for a kickass NYE show and a better 2021.
Come back tomorrow for Fight Circus 2. It should be some weird shit.