In an uneventful MMA debut at RIZIN 45, former kickboxer Ryusei Ashizawa faced a tough challenge against Olympic silver medalist Shinobu Ota. The New Year’s Eve fight card witnessed Ota’s ruthless efficiency as he secured a victory by knocking out Ashizawa with a D’Arce choke at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The one-sided encounter showcased Ota’s control from the start, taking Ashizawa down within 30 seconds. The kickboxer-turned-MMA-fighter struggled against the seasoned Olympic wrestler, ultimately succumbing to Ota’s relentless attack.
The finishing move, a D’Arce choke, left Ashizawa unconscious, emphasizing Ota’s dominance in the bout. Unfortunately, the referee failed to notice Ashizawa was out, leading to further punishment before the stoppage.
Adding an ironic twist to the match, Ashizawa, 28, sported UFC Venom shorts despite the event being under the RIZIN banner. The choice of attire raised eyebrows and added an extra layer of intrigue to an already lopsided contest.
Ota had BAD intentions with this finish 😳
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) December 31, 2023
Ota, 30, rebounded from a previous split decision loss at RIZIN LANDMARK 6, showcasing his grappling prowess and securing a decisive win. With a background in Greco-Roman wrestling and a silver medal from the 2016 Olympics, Ota improved his MMA record to 5-3.
On the flip side, Ashizawa’s transition from kickboxing to MMA proved challenging, facing an Olympic wrestler in his debut. His 25-14-1 kickboxing record didn’t translate into success in the cage, highlighting the need for improvement, particularly in takedown defense.
RIZIN 45, headlined by Kyoji Horiguchi and Makoto Shinryu for the inaugural RIZIN Flyweight championship, offered diverse matchups, and Ota’s dominant performance added a memorable chapter to the event. As the MMA world awaits further highlights, the clash between kickboxers and wrestlers continues to unfold, revealing the intricacies of transitioning between combat sports