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Rizin Night 2 Results: Fedor is Back, Souwer Power in MMA and RENA is the GOAT

My god, what a show. 

If you were reading Twitter throughout the Rizin FF broadcast you'll either be under the impression that this was the greatest show to ever grace this good Earth or the biggest monstrosity to ever happen to mankind. That's the kind of divisiveness Japanese fight sports brings to the table. What I can say is that this was one of the most entertaining nights of fights in perhaps years. As someone who gave up watching MMA after the UFC's homogenization went into full force I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of just how exciting that MMA really can be. 

Jiki Prochazka vs. Vadim Nemkov was perhaps one of the most exciting and active MMA fights that I've seen in a very long time, a stark contrast from the weekly fights that turned me away from the sport over the past few years. 

Of course, kickboxing was represented in quite a few ways throughout the show as well. In fact, the show began with Shoot Boxing superstar RENA making her MMA debut against the very tough Jleanna Valentino. Many quickly wrote off Valentino, but she is a decent muay thai fighter who trains in Italy with Giorgio and Armen Petrosyan, which has to count for something. What we got was a really good striking display from both women before RENA pulled off a flying armbar for the amazing win. 

On the K-1 front K-1 55kg champion Takeru came in and destroyed Yang Ming just like you thought that he would. Peter Aerts stepped in on two days notice against sumo wrestler Kaido Hoovelson in what was an ugly bout, especially considering the kinds of injuries that Aerts has been suffering from and having to watch this behemoth of a man just fall on Aerts and put him in all sorts of awful circumstances. That being said, Aerts went for a choke and an armbar, which was entertaining. 

Speaking of entertainment, Cesar Takeshi, the founder of Shoot Boxing, was out in full force to be the special guest referee in a Shoot Boxing rules bout between Bob Sapp and Akebono. Yes. This happened. Sapp hit Akebono so hard in the back of the head that a cut literally exploded open and Sapp spent the rest of the fight hitting him in the back of the head and Takeshi pausing the fight to let Stitch Duran work on Akebono. This happened like eight times. Sapp eventually won and nobody understood how or what happened to make that happen. 

Andy Souwer, after years of waiting, finally made his MMA debut and he did it against Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima. Nagashima was looking for submissions against Souwer but Souwer had a pretty solid ground game, all things considered, and was pounding and kneeing Jienotsu in the face. When they got back up to their feet Souwer landed a crazy combination and knocked Jienotsu out with body shots. Damn.

The main event saw Fedor Emelianenko make short work of former K-1 and GLORY fighter Jaideep "Heart" Singh. Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star and current Minister of Education Hiroshi Hase came to the ring to present Fedor with the WCW International Heavyweight Championship. I'm not kidding. He presented Fedor with the big gold belt from when NJPW had a working relationship with WCW and Hase briefly held WCW's kind of world championship. Anyway, he gave that belt to Fedor and it was weird but it owned. 

Seriously, that was an amazing night of fights. 

Rizin FF GP Final: King Mo (R1 - TKO) Jiri Prochazka
Fedor Emelianenko (R1 - TKO) Jaideep Singh
Kron Gracie (R1 - Submission) Asen Yamamoto
Andy Souwer (R1 - KO) Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima
Kaido "Baruto" Hoovelson (R2 - Decision) Peter Aerts
Shoot Boxing Rules: Bob Sapp (R3 - Decision) Akebono
Gabi Garcia (R1 - KO) Lei'd Tapa
K-1 Rules: Takeru (R2 - TKO) Yang Ming
Soo Chul Kim (R2 - Decision)
Bellator Rules: Brennan Ward (R2 - Submission) Ken Hasegawa
Rizin FF GP: Jiri Prochazka (R1 - TKO) Vadim Nemkov
Rizin FF GP: King Mo (R2 - Decision) Teodoras Aukstuolis
RENA (R2 - Submission) Jleana Valentino

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CBS Sports Airing Six Hour GLORY SuperFight Series Marathon on New Year's

New Year's has a strong tradition of bringing fights to the world, letting us all say goodbye to the year with some violence while welcoming a new year. This year will be no different and while tonight may be Rizin FF's second show, plus there will be a KID vs. Masato exhibition in Japan as well, that doesn't mean that there won't be fights to watch in the US, either. CBS Sports Network will be airing a six hour marathon of GLORY starting at midnight Eastern (9pm Pacific) on January 1st.

CBS Sports will be airing the SuperFight Series from both GLORY 25 and GLORY 26 in succession, so if you haven't checked those shows out yet and aren't going to be standing out in the cold for New Year's this seems like a thing to do, doesn't it?

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Rizin Night 1 Results: HIROYA and Hinata Win Big, Sakuraba Says Goodbye

Last night marked the triumphant return of Japanese kakutougi in the Saitama Super Arena after what felt like a long hibernation. Yes, there have been other MMA and kickboxing shows to happen in Japan over the past few years, even a few UFC events that did pretty well, but none could compare to the absolute insanity that was Rizin FF's first night. Rizin FF's first night was nothing short of a throwback to the Dynamite!! events of old, with freakshows, a legitimate tournament and some kickboxing to add some seasoning to the whole thing. 

On the kickboxing front the former K-1 Koshien star and current K-1 and KRUSH star HIROYA bounced back after two tough losses in K-1 over the last year or so with a big win on one of the biggest stages that kickboxing has seen in Japan in a long time. That win was against MMA and kickboxing veteran "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura and it happened via KO in the third round. Wicky was a mainstay in Japan for DREAM in their twilight years and this win was a rather high profile win for both HIROYA and K-1 Japan.

The other big bout was Hinata Watanabe fighting Kazuyuki Miyata, the former K-1 HERO*s and DREAM star in a mixed-rules bout. Think Aoki vs. Jienotsu from a few years ago, only they never made it out of the first kickboxing round because Hinata put a hurting on the 39 year old Miyata and won via TKO by knockdowns. 

On the MMA side the tournament didn't provide many big surprises, unless you thought that Satoshi Ishii could possibly win, because he didn't. Hideo Tokoro beat up our beautiful friend in Kaizemon Saiga, who was best known from his work in K-1's 65kg division before swapping over to MMA, showing Saiga that he still has a lot of work to do on his ground game before he can hang with the likes of Tokoro. The main event was a brutal beatdown from Shinya Aoki against MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba, who should be sticking to wrestling in New Japan from now on since this was his retirement, but you know how that works out. Sakuraba has done a lot for fighting in Japan and he's always been willing to lay it all on the line for fans and the sport. In a way it was fitting for Sakuraba to lose to a Japanese submission specialist on a night that many are seeing as the rebirth of Japanese fighting, isn't it?

Rizin FF GP: Vadim Nemkov (R1 - TKO) Goran Reljic
Rizin FF GP: Jiri Prochazka (R1 - KO) Satoshi Ishii
Rizin FF GP: Teodoras Aukstuolis (R1 - KO) Bruno Cappelozza
Rizin FF GP: King Mo (R1 - KO) Brett McDermott
Rizin FF GP Reserve: Valentin Moldovsky (R1 - Sub) Yuta Uchida

Hiroyuki Takaya (R3 - Dec.) Dalki Hata
Hideo Tokoro (R1 - Sub) Kizaemon Saiga
Anatoly Tokov (R1 - KO) AJ Matthews
Felipe Efrain (R1 - KO) Yuki Motoya (ruled NC due to Efrain missing weight)
Kirill Sidelnikov (R2 - TKO) Carlos Toyota
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (R2 - TKO) James Thompson

K-1: HIROYA (R3 - KO) Akiyo Nishiura
Mixed Rules: Hinata (R1 - TKO) Kazuyuki Miyata

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Rizin News: Peter Aerts Saves the Day Yet Again

This wouldn't be the first time that Jerome Le Banner has pulled out of a fight without much of an explanation given, nor would it be the first time that Peter Aerts has stepped in on late notice to help to save an event. That's just the kind of guy that Peter Aerts is. Once again Peter Aerts has come to the rescue, just six months after he officially retired from professional fighting. This time it was for Rizin FF's big New Year's Eve spectacular.

Jerome Le Banner was originally slated to fight Kaido Hoovelson in an MMA contest, but has pulled out. Last night at Rizin's first event Nobuhiko Takada stepped into the ring alongside Hoovelson and Peter Aerts to announce that Le Banner was out, officially, and that Aerts was in. 

Those that watched last night's event can attest to it being a violent throwback to the days of PRIDE and K-1 Dynamite!! events that kept the lifeblood flowing through a lot of fans, a stark contrast to the homogeneous UFC events that are pumped out on a weekly basis. 

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