There’s no listed MMA in Asia this Friday, so this week’s edition of Friday Fight facts is, well, still Friday Fight Facts.
Fighting NEXUS Vol. 14
Jumping to Saturday 11 August, Fighting NEXUX hosts a card of 15 matches on Volume 14 at Shinjuku FACE. This promotion was founded by Shumpei Yamada to give all disadvantaged fighters the opportunity to keep on doing what they love best: fighting. Bring your bad records, long layoffs, and crappy work schedules to NEXUS, and they’ll fit you in against somebody who’s in the same boat as you. Or not. Maybe you want a real challenge. Like “Great Shinjin GaZ” who’s never fought professionally but thinks he’s tough enough to step up to “Shooto” Watanabe (14-4-6). Rollercoaster record holders Takaya Takemoto and Yoji Saito top the card.
One Pride Fight Night 21
Also on Saturday, stay up late for One Pride FN 21 live from the Britama Arena (yes, Britama) on the TVOne app at 10pm Jakarta time. If you want to see what Indonesia is producing these days, look no further than the main event title rematch between two very scrappy strawweights, champ Gunawan and challenger Brando Mamana. Their first fight https://youtu.be/q_wAlW-RExI for the title featured slams, rolling thunder, plenty of spinning sh!t, near submissions, reversals, escapes, and blood. The fists were so fast they couldn’t all be counted.
Also one to watch: Saepul Anwar versus Achmad Eko Priandono. Anwar is a nominee for the Asia MMA Awards Rookie of the Year for his 3 beat downs inside 2017-18. Priandono finished his last opponent with a body kick. Enough said.
Rebel FC 9
Rebel FC 9 was set for 11 August, but even after a press conference with face offs, the entire event has been postponed to 9 September. Chinese OGs populate the card, including Wang Sai in a title bout with Adriano Balby, Wang Yayong in a title bout with Shuhei Sakano, and Ning Guangyou versus Takeya Mizugaki. When AsiaMMA enquired, a result for the delay was not stated.
Well hello Sunday, you look fantastic. RIZIN 12 takes place in Nagoya, Japan on 12 August and will be a PPV live on Fite.TV starting at 2pm Japan time. Aggressive tactician Yusuke Yachi gets his well-deserved spot in the limelight versus Wandy’s boy, extreme finisher Luiz Gustavo, in the main event. Yachi’s become a sensation both inside and outside of the ring because he never fails to impress or smile afterwards. Since first donning the little round Shooto gloves, his fanbase has snowballed as they watched him through the highs and lows. Gustavo is just 22 – the same age as Yachi was when he won the PacRim title. The Brazilian has been choking, locking, and punching his way to a pristine record in the hotbed of Curitiba. Expect one heck of a war.
Below the main is perennial DEEP flyweight champ Yuki Motoya versus Kazuma Sone. Motoya hasn’t been finished in 8 years – and he revenged it. Tenkaichi bantamweight champ Sone usually comes up short when he’s against stiffer opponents, but he’ll have size and definite underdog status, so it should spur a fun performance. And oh, elbows allowed.
Former HEAT welterweight champ and 4-year UFC vet Kiichi Kunimoto, a.k.a. Strasser, the tanned one, former pro skateboarder, faces his first opponent in 2018 when he steps in the cage against Ryuichiro Sumimura, the new DEEP welterweight champ. In 2017, Sumimura made his presence known as he clawed his way (not literally) through the DEEP welterweight tournament, finishing Yuta Watanabe and Ken Hasegawa in the process. All the Ajiwa Island native wants is to prove a small town fighter can win on the big stage of RIZIN.
Four more fights to watch: Hatsu Hioki versus Mikuru Asakura, Roque Martinez versus Kiyoshi Kuwabara, Kanako Murata versus Angela Magana, and of course “King” Reina versus Invicta’s matchmaker Kaitlin Young. A full preview of RIZIN 12 is forthcoming.