Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Kai Asakura had to get down to work to overtake an Alan Yamaniha match at the RIZIN 30 main event, which took place in Saitama, Japan on Sunday, to move forward and join Naoki Inoue, Hiromasa Ougikubo and Kenta Takizawa in the RIZIN 135 pounds in the semi-finals of the Grand Prix.
The semi-finals and finals are slated to be held the same night on New Years Day in Japan, but the company has yet to announce the clashes.
Asakura titled RIZIN 30 against Yamaniha, a teammate of lightweight champion RIZIN Roberto Satoshi and featherweight contender Kleber Koike, and injured the Brazilian with multiple body attacks in the first round. Yamaniha survived, coming back stronger in subsequent rounds with left backhands and takedown attempts. The third round was close, but Asakura ultimately emerged victorious by unanimous decision.
Two more quarter-final matches went the distance, with Naoki Inoue and Hiromasa Ougikubo overtaking Yuto Hokamura and Takafumi Otsuka, respectively, while Kenta Takizawa beat Yuki Motoya in the first round, attacking him with punches up to what Motoya crosses the ropes to escape. Watch the sequence below.
Olympic silver medalist Shinobu Ota claimed his first MMA victory in the undercard. Ota, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling in Rio de Janeiro, won a decision over Yuta Kubo to move to 1-1 in the sport. The decision-heavy card saw a 20-second stoppage win for Shoji Maruyama over Chihiro Suzuki in the curtain jerker.
Check out the RIZIN 30 results below.
Kai Asakura beat. Alan Yamaniha by unanimous decision
Naoki Inoue beat. Yuto Hokamura by unanimous decision
Hiromasa Ougikubo beat. Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision
Kenta Takizawa beats. Yuki Motoya by TKO in the first round (2:27)
Ayaka Hamasaki beat. Emi Fujino by unanimous decision
Yusuke Yachi beat. Koji Takeda by unanimous decision
Yoshinori Horie beat. Yuta Sasaki via unanimous decision
Shinobu Ota beat. Yuta Kubo via unanimous decision
Shoji Maruyama beat. Chihiro Suzuki by KO in the first round (0:20)
Rina Okamoto defeated Momoka Mandokoro via unanimous decision – kickboxing