Rena Kubota vs Miyu Yamamoto Among Additions To Rizin FF 2Shoot Boxing Women’s Flyweight Champion Rena Kubota makes her second foray into mixed martial arts competition on September 25th at Rizin Fighting Federation 2 in Saitama, Japan. Kubota faces three-time women’s wrestling world champion Miyu Yamamoto, who makes her MMA debut.

Kubota retained her Shoot Boxing title with a third-round TKO victory this past month, and she now faces a tough test in her second MMA bout. Also at Rizin FF 2, multi-time BJJ world champion Gabi Garcia battles Destanie Yarbrough, and rising star Kanako Murata meets Kyra “Mogwai” Batara.

Kubota (33-5-1 SB/KB; 1-0-0 MMA) kicked off her MMA career on New Year’s Eve during Rizin FF’s three-night promotional debut. She engaged in a back-and-forth striking battle with kickboxer Jleana Valentino before finishing Valentino with a highlight-reel flying armbar in the second round. Training alongside Invicta FC champion Ayaka Hamasaki at AACC, Kubota has worked diligently on her ground game in addition to sharpening her formidable striking skills, and she looks for a key win next month.

Yamamoto (0-0-0), the sister of legendary MMA fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, has captured three world titles during her lengthy career in wrestling, and she makes her MMA debut on a grand stage for Rizin. The 42-year-old is one of Japan’s most talented and experienced female grapplers, and she should hold a significant edge over Kubota if she is able to take the fight to the ground. Yamamoto hopes for a clean sweep for her family, as son Asen also competes on the Rizin FF 2 card.


Garcia (2-0-0) also began her MMA career on Rizin FF’s New Year’s Eve card, where she overcame early scares and rallied to score a first-round knockout win over pro wrestler Seini “Lei’D Tapa” Draughn. Garcia was heavily criticised for engaging in the sloppy slugfest with Draughn, but she made use of her elite BJJ skills in her second MMA bout when she easily submitted Anna Malyukova at Rizin FF 1 in April. California’s Yarbrough (1-0-0) earned a 33-second stoppage win in her MMA debut earlier this year, and she now seeks a massive upset when she squares off against Garcia in Japan.

Murata (3-0-0) has rapidly become one of MMA’s fastest-rising female prospects in Japan. She earned a dominant decision victory in her pro debut at Rizin FF1 and has since scored back-to-back TKO triumphs including a quick finish of Ilona Wijmans at the 2016 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup. Her opponent, Batara (5-3-0), has won three straight fights for the Cambate Americas promotion, and she is expected to challenge for title gold in the coming months. The gifted grappler first travels to Japan in hopes of handing Murata her first defeat in a featured strawweight showdown.

Rizin Fighting Federation 2 takes place on September 25th at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)