Rena Kubota, Andy Nguyen & Gabi Garcia Win At Rizin FF 4Shoot Boxing Women’s Flyweight Champion Rena Kubota earned another impressive win under MMA rules on Saturday at Rizin Fighting Federation 4 in Saitama, Japan. Kubota stopped Poland’s Hanna “Tyson” Gujwan with a devastating kick to the body in round three of their 49kg matchup.

In atomweight action on Saturday’s card, KOTC champ Andy “The CrAsian” Nguyen finished wrestling powerhouse Miyu Yamamoto with a first-round armbar, and multi-time BJJ world champion Gabi Garcia made short work of professional wrestler Yumiko Hotta in a one-sided open-weight bout.


Kubota (3-0-0) countered Gujwan’s (1-1-0) early leg kicks with one-two combinations and switched stances frequently. Gujwan continued to throw kicks until Kubota cracked her with a left hand and a head kick. A combination and a straight left hand also scored for Kubota, who established her jab as Gujwan looked to dart in with punches. Both women landed kicks to the legs and body, and Kubota scored a late takedown into knee-on-belly position that allowed her to punch from the top until the bell.

After an early exchange of strikes in round two, Kubota took Gujwan down and a scramble ensued. Gujwan nearly secured a sweep and the fight returned to the feet. Kubota took Gujwan down again and fought free from a guillotine choke. She tried to mount Gujwan, but Gujwan swept into her guard and the fighters stood up. Kubota used a headlock throw to take Gujwan down, but Gujwan reversed as the fight hit the mat. Kubota stood and attempted a standing rear-naked choke, but Gujwan escaped and the fighters traded knees in a clinch as time expired.

More knees were exchanged early in round three and Kubota appeared to hurt Gujwan with one to the body. Gujwan circled away and Kubota tagged her with power punches. Gujwan landed some decent shots of her own and she escaped from a guillotine choke, but a Kubota body kick and a series of knees to the body hurt Gujwan and she fell to the mat. Kubota threw a soccer kick as Gujwan stood up and she continued to punish her with knees to the liver. Kubota landed a final kick to the liver and Gujwan dropped like a rock at the 2:47 mark.

“I wanted to do many things in the fight, but I thought too much about it,” Kubota admitted after her victory. “I experienced a long fight and that is good for me as an MMA fighter. I finished with a crescent kick. Caesar taught me that, and Ayaka [Hamasaki] told me that Hanna was injured to the body. That’s why I threw it. I try to enjoy MMA and that is why I tried for takedowns. If Rizin pairs me against Andy [Nguyen], I’ll fight. I have a backup plan if I can’t win with takedowns, but I will show that next time.”

“I improved a lot during training for this fight, so I am satisfied by that part even though I lost,” Gujwan stated post-fight. “Rena is a very experienced fighter and her punches and kicks are strong. The final kick hit my rib and hurt me. That was why I could not move. Rizin was great for me and I will watch my fight video to improve in the future.”


Nguyen (4-3-0) kicked at Yamamoto’s (0-2-0) lead leg early on and Yamamoto replied with right hooks and a quick takedown. She landed short hammerfists until the fighters were stood up. On the feet, Yamamoto scored with a combination and the fighters traded punches until she shot in and took Nguyen down again. Yamamoto landed knees to the head and fought free from a loose armbar. Nguyen quickly locked on a gogoplata from the bottom and wrenched back on Yamamoto’s right arm with a straight armbar, forcing Yamamoto to verbally submit at the 4:42 mark.

“It was good fight,” Nguyen commented following her win. “Miyu improved her boxing skill a lot. I expected her to take me down and prepared for being on the bottom. I tried to get a triangle choke, but her arm was there and I took it. I love to fight in Japan. Please bring me back, Rizin.”

“I scored the takedown but got caught again,” Yamamoto recalled backstage. “I can’t fully concentrate when the fight hits the ground. I could hear my cornermen very well this time, but still got caught. I did better in the striking and I’m adapting more to MMA. I need more strong opponents in order to develop.”


Garcia (4-0-0) stood still as Hotta (5-5-0) ran off of the ropes in the opening seconds. Eventually, she cracked Hotta with a left hook and a knee. Hotta continued to run from Garcia until Garcia swarmed on her with punches. A bloodied Hotta fell to the mat and Garcia continued to land right hands until the fight was mercifully stopped at the 41-second mark.

“I was surprised that she did pro wrestling moves,” Garcia stated after her quick win. “I want to prepare for my next fight. Jazzy [Gabert] was scared of me when I tried to fight her in the ring. I can give her six months to train like she asked for, but I’m ready for her anytime. I was blamed when the news said that I would face an old pro wrestler, but I believe in Sakakibara. He found many talents for Pride, like the Nogueiras, Wanderlei, Shogun and Mirko. So there is no option to refuse an opponent he chooses.”

“Gabi’s punch was the hardest I have ever felt in my entire fight career; pro prestling or MMA,” Hotta confessed post-fight. “I wasn’t scared about the fight, though. MMA is a different sport, but it motivated me to train. I wanted to show rope work because I’m from pro wrestling. Jyoshipuro isn’t dead and will rise again. Jyoshipuro fighters can show heart and soul when they fight. Kandori will avenge my loss.”



(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)