Rizin FF: “King Mo” Lawal Advances With KO, Shinya Aoki Stops Kazushi Sakuraba
By FCF Staff
Former Pride boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s Rizin Fighting Federation has hosted its first event to date, and in the main event, Shinya Aoki ensured Kazushi Sakuraba’s comeback wasn’t a triumphant one.
Aoki stopped the 46 year-old legend in the first round with strikes in the card’s headliner, which marked the first time since 2011 that Sakuraba had fought.
Rizin’s first event also featured the opening round of the promotion’s heavyweight tournament, which included Bellator’s “King Mo” Lawal. The latter knocked out Brett McDermott in the opening round to advance to the semi-finals.
The semis, and the comeback of Fedor Emelianenko, will take place on New Year’s Eve. Emelianenko will face Jaideep Singh.
Here are the results from Rizin’s inaugural event, which took place in Saitama.
Shinya Aoki def. Kazushi Sakuraba via TKO (strikes) R1, 5:56
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Jiri Prochazka def. Satoshi Ishii via knockout (strikes) R1, 1:36
Vadim Nemkov def. Goran Reljic via knockout (strikes) R1, 2:58
Teodoras Aukstuolis def. Bruno Cappelozza via knockout (punches) R1, 3:32
“King Mo” Lawal def. Brett McDermott via knockout (punch) R1, 9:10
Heavyweight Tournament Alternate Bout
Valentin Moldavsky def Yuta Uchida via submission (rear-naked choke) R1, 2:20
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Daiki Hata via unanimous decision
Hideo Tokoro def. Kizaemon Saiga via submission (armbar) R1, 5:15
Anatoly Tokov def. A.J. Matthews via knockout (punch) R1, 0:55
Felipe Efrain def. Yuki Motoya via TKO (punches) R1 (fight to be ruled no-contest due to Efrain missing weight)
Kirill Sidelnikov def. Carlos Toyota via TKO (strikes) R1, 2:32
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka def. James Thompson via TKO (strikes) R2, 1:58