Hiromasa Ogikubo avenges loss to Kai Asakura, wins 2021 bantamweight grand prix

Hiromasa Ogikubo showed up huge as an underdog to win the Rizin FF bantamweight grand prix.

Ogikubo (25-5-2) needed to go through some early misfortune in his semifinals bout versus Naoki Inoue, however “The Ultimate Fighter 24” finalist rallied to win the last 2 rounds and advance to the Rizin FF 33 finals at Saitama Super Arena on Friday.

On the other side of the bracket, Kai Asakura (19-4) tore down and outstruck Kenta Takizawa, setting him up with a finals rematch versus Ogikubo, who he knocked out with a soccer kick at Rizin FF 23 in 2020.

With the chances stacked versus him as soon as again on the night, Ogikubo came out strong versus Asakura. Ogikubo sliced away with leg kicks, landing an early takedown on Asakura. He had the ability to briefly get complete install, transitioning to Asakura’s back, who handled to avoid of any significant submission hazards.

In Round 2, Asakura was crisp with his jab, landing a strong left hook. However Ogikubo didn’t pull back from the striking exchanges, discovering a house for his overhand right on many events. After a competitive round on the feet, Ogikubo ended the round with a flurry and a takedown.

Asakura revealed excellent takedown defense in Round 3, however Ogikubo’s frustrating speed was excessive as the 34-year-old handled to avenge his loss to Asakura and win the 2021 Rizin FF bantamweight grand prix.

In the co-main occasion, light-weight champ Roberto de Souza (13-1) notched his very first title defense when he sent Yusuke Yachi (23-12) with a slick armbar in Round 2. After his win, Souza requested a Bellator champ as he considers titles in 2 various promos.

The Rizin FF 33 outcomes consist of:

  • Hiromasa Ogikubo def. Kai Asakura through consentaneous choice – bantamweight grand prix finals

  • Roberto de Souza def. Yusuke Yachi through submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:30 to keep light-weight title

  • Mikuru Asakura def. Yutaka Saito through consentaneous choice

  • Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Takanori Gomi – unique guidelines bout ends in a draw

  • Si Woo Park def. Rena Kubota through consentaneous choice

  • Seika Izawa def. Ayaka Hamasaki through TKO (elbows and punches) – Round 2, 2:50

  • Koji Takeda def. Noah Bey through submission (armbar) – Round 2, 4:12

  • Hideki Sekine def. Shoma Shibisai through TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:09

  • Kyohei Hagiwara def. Hiroaki Suzuki through consentaneous choice

  • Shinobu Ota def. Kazuma Sone through TKO (soccer kick and stomps) – Round 2, 3:55

  • Yuki Motoya def. Yuto Hokamura through consentaneous choice – bantamweight grand prix reserve bout

  • Hiromasa Ogikubo def. Naoki Inoue through consentaneous choice – bantamweight grand prix semifinals

  • Kai Asakura def. Kenta Takizawa through consentaneous choice – bantamweight grand prix semifinals

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.