Round 2 of the Rizin 2016 World Grand Prix went down this morning at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and the event lived up to expectations.
In the main event and final bout of the quarter-finals of the Japanese promotion’s openweight tournament, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic rallied back to defeat Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Lawal controlled the opening round taking down the Croatian shortly after the bell and would also be on top once the referee stood both fighters up, with Cro Cop offering little barring the odd powershot to the body of the American. Despite this, it was clear that Mo was beginning to tire.
But things would turn Filipovic’s way in round two as his opponent would go for a takedown and the UFC and Pride veteran would connect with a big right then a flurry of left hand punches to force the referee to bring and end to the fight.
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) 29 December 2016
Elsewhere at Rizin 2016, Kaito “Baruto” Hoovelson used his massive size advantage to smother MMA veteran Tsuyoshi Kosaka for 10 minutes in a dominant performance. The hulking sumo wrestler did not give his opponent any room what so ever and would take him down and control him at will throughout the encounter to earn the nod from all of the judges ringside.
Meanwhile, Amir Aliakbari secured in the eyes of some a controversial unanimous decision win over the returning Heath Herring in the second quarter-final fight of the night. In the opening round undefeated Roman Greco wrestler Aliakbari would rag doll Herring who made his return to action after a 8-year absence.
But “The Texas Crazy Horse” would dig deep in round two leaving many calling for a third round but it wasn’t to be as the judges would award the bout to the AKA Thailand trained Aliakbari.
In the Rizin 2016 opening quarter-final bout Russian Valentin Moldavsky bested Polish fighter Szymon Bajor but it was not all one way traffic for Fedor Emelianenko’s training partner. Despite dominating the proceedings for the majority of the fight a kimura attempt by Bajor would momentarily have Moldavsky in trouble the Light-Heavyweight would maintain his composure to escape the submission attempt and eventually on out on top in the fight.
Earlier in the evening, undefeated Japanese kickboxing sensation, Tenshin Nasukawa (1-0) escaped a super tight armbar attempt by Nikita Sapun (1-1) to TKO the Ukrainian in the 18-year-old’s MMA debut. Following the bout Tenshin called for a fight on the upcoming Rizin 2016 NYE show, which has since been confirmed against an unnamed opponent.
In other action former 2-times K1 Max champion Andy Sower (1-2) would suffer back-to-back submission losses under the Rizin banner when he succumbed to a first round armbar at the hands of Japan’s Kazuyuki Miata.
In the opening bout of Rizin 2016 Daron Cruickshank (19-8-1) would make light work of Satoru Kitaoka until the dying moments of the opening round when the Japanese fighter locked in a guillotine choke to secure the come from behind win.
Rizin FF 3: Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2016 – 2nd Round Card
Mirko Filipovic def. Muhammed Lawal via TKO (punches) in Rnd 2
Kaito “Baruto” Hoovelson def. Tsuyoshi Kosaka via unanimous decision
Amir Aliakbari def. Heath Herring via unanimous decision
Valentin Moldavsky def. Szymon Bajor via unanimous decision
Rin Lakai def. Kanako Murata via submission (rear naked choke) in Rnd 3
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Nikita Sapun via TKO (punches) in Rnd 1
Kazuyuki Miata def. Andy Souwer via submission (armbar) in Rnd 1
Yuki Montoya def. Allan Nascimento via split decision
Tatsumitsu Wada def. Kai Kara-France unanimous decision
Yusuke Yachi def. Mario Sismundo via TKO in Rnd 1
Alyssa Garcia def. Kanna Asakura via unanimous decision
Vadim Nemkov def. Alison Vicente via KO in Rnd 1
Satoru Kitaoka def. Daron Cruickshank via submission (guillotine choke) in Rnd 1