Ren Hiramoto Edges Hiroaki Suzuki, Saori Oshima Outpoints Miyuu Yamamoto at Rizin 36

    Fans attending the latest Rizin Fighting Federation foray into Okinawa, Japan, were treated to an action-packed card—even though there was some last-minute shuffling at the top of the bill.

    The Rizin 36 headliner changed a few hours before the event due to an injury to former bantamweight titleholder Kai Asakura. In the new main event, former One Championship muay Thai bantamweight title challenger Hiroaki Suzuki and Ren Hiramoto battled in a 145-pound clash. The pair engaged in a striker’s delight early on, with both fighters attempting to keep the clash on the feet in the opening frame. As time went by, it appeared that Hiramoto (1-2, 1-2 Rizin) was more precise with his shots. Jabs, punches to the body and short hooks by Hiramoto forced Suzuki (2-2, 2-2 Rizin) to shoot for takedowns to contain his opponent’s initiative. In spite of some successful action on the canvas, Suzuki didn’t finish his adversary, and the fight went the distance. The judges were split on the outcome, but Hiramoto’s precision tipped the scale in favor of the Roufusport representative, who took home a narrow split decision.

    In the co-headliner, Deep Jewels atomweight titleholder Saori Oshima and former promotional super atomweight title contender Miyuu Yamamoto (6-7, 6-7 Rizin) battled for three rounds. Oshima (9-3, 2-0 Rizin) relied on his varied arsenal to overcome his opponent’s experience, employing some fine superman punches and quick head kicks to score precious points. Three-time freestyle wrestling world champion Yamamoto (6-7, 6-7 Rizin) kept the center of the ring and showed off her grappling background on occasion. Ultimately, Oshima’s creativity was enough to persuade two out of three ringside judges to score the fight in her favor for a split-decision victory.

    Elsewhere, Nobuyoshi Nakatsukasa (8-4, 1-1 Rizin) vanquished Mitsuhisa Sunabe (29-11-4, 0-3 Rizin) with knees and punches 100 seconds into their 119-pound catchweight bout; 145-pounder Sora Yamamoto (12-4, 3-1 Rizin) outclassed Kyle Aguon (14-11, 1-3 Rizin) en route to a unanimous decision victory; and at featherweight, Ji Yong Yang (5-0, 1-0 Rizin) submitted Shoji Maruyama (17-17-1, 1-4 Rizin) with a rear-naked choke 1:46 into the third frame.

    On the preliminary card, 155-pounder Atsushi Kishimoto (8-6-2, 1-0 Rizin) stopped Kohei Tokeshi (6-9, 1-2 Rizin) with punches at the 2:05 mark of Round 1; former K-1 super seatherweight champion Taiga Kawabe upended Soichiro Arata on all scorecards in a kickboxing clash; flyweight Yamato Fujita (9-4, 1-1 Rizin) outpointed Tatsuya So (16-19-4, 0-2 Rizin) on all scorecards; Yutaro Muramoto (9-6-2, 1-2 Rizin) pummeled One alum Shinichi Kojima (14-7-5, 0-1 Rizin) 2:23 into the second stanza at flyweight; 125-pounder Yuki Ito (11-3, 4-0 Rizin) smashed Yuichi Miyagi (17-12-1, 1-1 Rizin) with knees and punches at the 4:57 mark of the second period; in a super atomweight clash, Moeri Suda (6-3, 1-0 Rizin) submitted Mizuki Oshiro (4-6, 1-1 Rizin) via armbar 2:12 into the opening frame; Hirokatsu Miyagi outstruck Tomoki Yoshino en route to a unanimous decision in a kickboxing clash at featherweight; and Tanner Lourenco (2-0, 2-0 Rizin) crushed Oriya Oshiro (1-1, 0-1 Rizin) with elbows at the 1:05 mark of Round 2 at lightweight.

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