Following the debut of their first show on Dec. 29, recently created Japanese fight promotion Rizin Fighting Federation will hold their second show at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Tokyo on New Years Eve.

Headlining the event was the highly anticipated return of former Pride FC heavyweight champion and MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko as he squared off against Jaideep Singh, the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix in Seoul champion.

Also appearing on the card was the semi-finals and final round of Rizin FF’sWorld Grand Prix tournament, the MMA debut of Gabi Garcia, a Shoot boxing fight between Bob Sapp and Sumo legend Akebono, a featherweight fight between Kron Gracie and Asen Yamato and an openweight fight between Kickboxing legend Peter Aerts and sumo wrestler Baruto Kaido.

Main Card Summary

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jaideep Singh

“The Last Emperor” came back with a cold vengeance to take on DEEP megaton champion Singh in what was the former PRIDE heavyweight champion’s first MMA bout in over three years. Singh held the advantage in reach and height, as have many of Emelianenko’s past opponents, and this time proved no different from any reachother opponent that Emelianenko fought and beat, as he navigated his way around Singh’s height and reach in order to land power punches and set up a takedown from a rear waist-lock, which led him to side control.

Emelianenko sensed the end and climbed his way into mount. Once he fired off shots from the mount, Singh tapped from the strikes, putting an end to the bout and cementing the legendary heavyweight’s return to the sport.

Muhammad Lawal vs. Jiri Prochazka – Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Final

“King Mo” took on the always tedious challenge of competing twice in one nice and rose to the occasion as part of the Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix. In his semifinal bout, he struck with  Teodoras Aukstuolis for a frame before taking him down and keeping him down en route to clinching round two, as well as the win by unanimous decision.

Prochazka encountered a tough battle with Vadim Nemkov, which saw both men in control of the bout at times throughout the first round. Unfortunately, Nemkov collapsed at the end of round one, and was ruled unable to continue, meaning Lawal would meet Prochazka in the tournament final.

The bout started of with no surprises, as Lawal aimed to take Prochazka down and keep him there, while Prochazka wanted to threaten with submissions in order to make Lawal think twice about trying to keep top position. Mo’s intent prevailed as he worked in some brutal rights from inside Prochazka’s guard, cutting him open before the fight returned to the feet. Prochazka felt up to the task of meeting Lawal in a number of striking exchanges, but Lawal only needed one right hand to put the lights out for Prochazka and claim the victory in the tournament.

Kron Gracie vs Asen Yamamoto

Rickson Gracie’s youngest boy kept the family name alive and well at the expense of Japanese prospect Yamamoto. From start to finish, Gracie never lost control of the bout, as he utilized dirty boxing in a tie-up to get his game going, and then finished the first of two takedowns before securing a deep armbar attempt. Unfortunately for Gracie, Yamamoto survived the attempt and popped back to his feet.

It didn’t take very long for Gracie to take the action back to the ground, where Yamamoto ended up on top, but ended up in Gracie’s guard, where the Brazilian locked up a triangle choke. Yamamoto tried to break the choke with a slam, but eventually found no alternative to tapping out.

Baruto Kaido vs. Peter Aerts

The Estonian-bred former Sumo wrestler Kaido knew he had his work cut out for him against the legendary Peter Aerts, but he responded well in his MMA debut while fighting for three three-minute rounds. Kaido’s straightforward style led to problems early for Aerts, as he was unable to avoid getting taken to the ground. Once the action in round one went more towards the center of the ring, Kaido made use of transitions, moving from side control to the north-south position and trying for a north-south choke, though he couldn’t find the finish.

For a moment, Aerts used Kaido’s own momentum to end up on top in round two, and an attempt to escape led Kaido to give up his back, causing Aerts to hunt for a rear naked choke. Despite his efforts, Aerts never found the choke, and he spent the remainder of the round trying to fight Kaido off from the bottom again.

Aerts, to his credit, remained game in the third round, where Kaido still got two early takedowns, but was told to break and reset when he couldn’t do much with them. The brief moments on the feet allowed Aerts to fire off a few good strikes, but it wasn’t long before Kaido found the takedown and delivered shorts shots to the vaunted kickboxer again. Kaido’s takedowns, ground work, and ability to use his size at will helped clinch a well-earned unanimous verdict from the judges, and more importantly, it helped him cap off a solid MMA debut effort.

Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Andy Souwer

Souwer impressed in his MMA debut against “Jienotsu” Nagashima. While Souwer asserted himself predominantly in the leg kick department, he did survive a number of exchanges on the ground, thanks in part to some ground-and-pound and some stomps. Nagashima ultimately had no answer for Souwer, as he would fade fast after a series of head shots and two left hooks to the body.

 

Bob Sapp vs. Akebono – Shoot Boxing Rules

From the onset, “The Beast” came out with the heavy artillery and never seemed to stop. Once Sapp started connecting with his vicious right hand, Akebono had no real response, aside  from attempting to clinch with Sapp. Still, for all the punishment he took in round one, Akebono kept moving forward and tried to hurt Sapp.

Akebono found a chance to lay in a knee from the clinch in round two, but he could not get the upper hand. Sapp kept his right hand coming with authority and opened up a cut, which led to the end of the fight. Sapp didn’t get the finish in the way he wanted, but he did at least walk out with a win by technical decision.

Gabi Garcia vs. Lei’d Tapa

Tapa nearly shocked everyone by landing one left hand that rocked Garcia early. Garcia weathered the storm, but recovered and began to find her own comfort zone on the feet. Shots began landing for Garcia and Tapa eventually got hurt before one well-timed backfist sealed the deal for the former 10-time BJJ world champion, who scored a big win without ever once going to her best weapon.

FULL RESULTS

  • Fedor Emelianenko def. Jaideep Singh by submission (punches). Round 1, 3:02
  • Muhammad Lawal def. Jiri Prochazka by KO (punches). Round 1, 5:09  – Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Final
  • Kron Gracie def. Asen Yamamoto by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 4:58
  • Baruto Kaido def. Peter Aerts by unanimous decision
  • Andy Souwer def. Yuichiro Nagashima by KO (punches). Round 1, 5:28
  • Bob Sapp def. Akebono by technical decision – Shoot Boxing Rules
  • Gabi Garcia def. Lei’d Tapa by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:38
  • Soo Chul Kim def. Maike Linhares by unanimous decision
  • Takeru def. Yang Ming by TKO (punches). Round 2 – K-1 Rules
  • Brennan Ward def. Ken Hasegawa by submission (rear naked choke). Round 2, 1:52.
  • Muhammad Lawal def. Teodoras Aukstuolis by unanimous decision – Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Semi-Final
  • Jiri Prochazka def Vadim Nemkov by TKO (retirement). Round 1, 10:00 – Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Semi-Final
  • RENA def. Jleana Valentino by submission (flying armbar). Round 2, 3:31.