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Rizin FF 19 takes place Saturday in Japan, and you can join us for live results of all of the action.
Featuring the opening round of the promotion’s lightweight grand prix, Rizin FF 19 takes place at Edion Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan. The full card streams on Fite TV beginning at 1 a.m. ET.
Additionally, the company kicks off a lightweight grand prix that includes entrants such as current Bellator contender Patricky Freire, UFC veterans Johnny Case and Damien Brown and MMA legend Tatsuya Kawajiri, among others.
Enjoy the fights, everyone.
Lightweight grand prix semis decided after flurry of first-round finishes
The semifinals of the Rizin lightweight grand prix are all set after the four opening-round winners each produced impressive first-round finishes to book their respective places in the final four.
Former UFC lightweight Johnny Case and current Bellator lightweight contender Patricky Freire both secured spots in the semis, and avoided each other in the subsequent draw, with Case set to face fellow victor Tofiq Musaev and ‘Pitbull’ taking on fellow Brazilian Luiz Gustavo in the semifinal matchups in Saitama on New Year’s Eve.
Johnny makes his Case with first-round KO
Case produced a nerveless display to finish Roberto de Souza a first-round stoppage loss and book his place in the semifinals of the lightweight grand prix.
Case looked relaxed and slick as he connected with strikes early on against the BJJ ace, who eventually looked to pull guard in an attempt to take the American out of his comfort zone. But Case defended well, and escaped Souza’s attempt to lock up an armbar before allowing his man to return to his feet.And with the bout back in the stand-up realm, Case made his advantage pay as he hurt Souza with a solid right, then connected with a short right uppercut that caught the Brazilian flush as he stooped in for a takedown attempt.
It left Souza in clear pain – and potentially with a facial injury – as he tapped to strikes before Case could administer any more ground shots and do more damage as the Las Vegas native breezed through to the semifinals on New Year’s Eve in Saitama.
‘Pitbull’ makes short work of Kawajiri
Bellator lightweight Freire made a spectacular start to his lightweight grand prix campaign with a quickfire finish of Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri in their quarterfinal matchup.
‘Pitbull’ loosened up with some thumping body kicks and some close-range boxing before stepping back and unleashing a jumping knee that connected flush on the 41-year-old’s chin. Kawajiri grabbed hold of the Brazilian’s leg in a vain bid to prevent any further damage, but ‘Pitbull’ then switched to punches and hammerfists as he unloaded a barrage of strikes to the grounded Japanese legend’s head until the referee stepped in to end the contest.
It gave the Bellator man a clean, quick finish as the Brazilian eased his way into the tournament semis.
Gustavo’s early blitz secures swift finish
Hiroto Uesako’s lightweight grand prix was over almost before it began after the ringside doctor called off his match with Brazilian Luiz Gustavo early in the first round of their quarterfinal contest.
Gustavo (10-1 MMA, 2-1 Rizin) clipped Uesako (16-8 MMA, 1-1 Rizin) early with a right hand and followed up with a succession of powerful knees that had the Japanese fighter in a bad predicament in the corner. To his credit, Uesako managed to extricate himself and continue the action as he looked to fight his way back into the contest, but the legacy of Gustavo’s early salvo was written all over the Japanese fighter’s face.
It was sufficient to concern referee Jason Herzog, who paused the action to allow the ringside physician to inspect Uesako’s left eye, which was cut, bleeding and starting to close. The doctor’s assessment wasn’t a good one for the 32-year-old, as he indicated to Herzog that the fight should be waved off. It handed a delighted Gustavo a quickfire first-round finish and a spot in the next round of the lightweight GP as a crestfallen Uesako headed immediately for the locker room before the result was even made official inside the ring.
Musaev kicks off lightweight GP with first-round finish
In the night’s first lightweight grand prix matchup, Azerbaijan’s Musaev unleashed a barrage of powerful kicks to outgun gritty Australian Damien Brown and deliver a statement to the rest of the tournament field.
Musaev (16-3 MMA, 3-0 Rizin) left his mark in illegal fashion early on as a powerful inside leg kick landed squarely in Brown’s cup. But “Beatdown” quickly returned to his feet and restarted the matchup. Unfortunately for the Aussie, that errant kick from Musaev didn’t dissuade him from continuing to throw powerful shots as he continually hammered Brown’s body with left roundhouse kicks.
Musaev turned his dominance into a finish as he switched his target from body to head and connected with a left high kick that put Brown (19-13 MMA, 2-1 Rizin) on wobbly legs. Spying the finish, the 29-year-old then stepped into boxing range and unleashed a flurry of fists that overwhelmed Brown and forced the referee to step in to halt the contest late in the first round.
Nakamura outclasses Souza
When Marcos Yoshio de Souza stepped into the Rizin ring he had high hopes of a dream debut. But that dream quickly turned into a nightmare as Keita Nakamura proved to be too good for the Brazilian.
Souza’s first offensive move of the night saw an attempted spinning back kick go awry as he slipped and fell to his back. Nakamura (35-10 MMA, 1-0 Rizin) pounced, jumped on top and connected with powerful strikes. And although Souza (8-2 MMA, 0-1 Rizin) briefly scrambled his way back to his feet, he was met by more powerful strikes as Nakamura sent the Brazilian to the mat once again and peppered him with ground shots until Souza’s corner waved off the fight mid-way through the round to spare their man any further punishment.
Shibasai claims routine win
The opening MMA fight of the night saw Shoma Shibisai defeat Chang Hee Kim with the minimum of fuss via first-round submission. Chang (1-5 MMA, 0-1 Rizin) looked to push Shibisai (5-2 MMA, 1-1 Rizin) up against the ropes in search of an early takedown, but Shibisai stayed upright, grabbed Chang’s right arm and dragged his man to the mat with a Kimura, forcing the submission a little over a minute into the openweight contest.
MAIN CARD (Fite TV)
- Jiri Prochazka vs. Fabio Maldonado
- Kai Asakura vs. Ulka Sasaki
- Miyuu Yamamoto vs. Seo Hee Ham
- Rena Kubota vs. Alexandra Alvare
PRELIMINARY CARD (Fite TV, 1 a.m. ET)
- Johnny Case def. Roberto de Souza via TKO (punch) – Round 1
- Patricky Freire def. Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (flying knee and punches) – Round 1
- Luiz Gustavo def. Hiroto Uesako via TKO (doctor stoppage due to cut) – Round 1
- Tofiq Musaev def. Damien Brown via TKO (head kick and punches) – Round 1
- Keita Nakamura def. Marcos Yoshio de Souza via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 1
- Shoma Shibisai def. Chang Hee Kim via submission (Kimura) – Round 1
News | MMA Junkie