Rin Nakai, Alyssa Garcia Victorious At Rizin FF 3 In SaitamaBantamweight Queen of Pancrase Rin Nakai continued her streak of victories at 125 pounds with a third-round submission win on Thursday at Rizin Fighting Federation 3 in Saitama, Japan. Nakai finished standout wrestler Kanako Murata with a rear-naked choke in flyweight action.

Also on Thursday’s card, atomweight rising star Alyssa “Tiny Tim” Garcia earned a big victory over teen prospect Kanna Asakura. Garcia’s ground-and-pound and submission attempts impressed the judges, who awarded the American with a Unanimous Decision win after three hard-fought rounds.


Nakai (19-2-1) shrugged off an early takedown attempt from Murata (4-1-0) and the fighters traded short hooks in close. Murata picked her shots with lead right hands from a distance and Nakai lunged in with straight rights as she looked to cut off the ring. Murata briefly took Nakai down after landing an overhand left, but Nakai sprung back up to her feet and jumped on Murata’s back. She tried to flatten her out late in the opening round.

The second round began with Murata working for takedowns against the ropes and both women landed knees to the body. Murata dropped levels and tried to get Nakai down to the mat. Nakai used a front choke attempt to force a break and she circled away. Murata landed one-twos and lead right hooks, and she got Nakai down to a knee for a split second. Nakai scored with a stiff jab and she dropped Murata just as the bell sounded to end the round.

Nakai stuffed a takedown in round three and she dragged Murata down after taking her back. Soon after, Nakai locked on a tight rear-naked choke and Murata tapped out at the 1:16 mark.

“Murata is strong fighter. She is from Ehime, the same prefecture as me,” Nakai stated after the fight. “I hope that she continues to improve in the future. I expected her wrestling to be strong, but her striking is much better than I had anticipated and that is why I struggled. I don’t know about the future, but I will continue to train for more fights.”

“I didn’t know what to do when I couldn’t get a takedown due to Rin having a lot more power than I had imagined,” Murata commented post-fight. “She has a stronger will than me. My flu from before the fight did not affect me. My plan was to put her in the corner and take her down, but it did not work. She countered my takedowns and I didn’t have an answer for that.”


Garcia (2-2-0) countered Asakura’s (5-2-0) early leg kicks with a quick flurry of punches and Asakura shot in for a takedown. Garcia stayed on her feet and she threw knees in close. The fighters continued to battle for position in a corner and Garcia took Asakura’s back after a failed lateral drop. Asakura stood and worked for a kimura, but Garcia reversed another takedown and transitioned from a guillotine to a rear-naked choke. She finished the round with ground and pound.

Asakura jabbed and circled on the outside in round two, and Garcia countered with knees to the head and body in a clinch against the ropes. She pushed Asakura down to the mat and punished her with knees and right hands, but Asakura battled back to her feet and fired off punches of her own. Garcia framed up a triangle choke attempt as she fell to her back and Asakura punched her way free. She postured up and landed more strikes from the top until the bell.

The final round began with an exchange of kicks to the upper body. Asakura tried to throw Garcia to the mat and wound up pinned in a corner as Garcia landed knees. The fighters were eventually separated and Garcia shrugged off one takedown, but Asakura got her down on her second try. Garcia countered with an omoplata attempt, but Asakura rolled through and dropped punches and hammerfists from the top. Garcia kicked her off and stood up, which allowed her to land more knees in a clinch. She took Asakura down, but lost the position and Asakura peppered her with punches and knees.

The bout went to the scorecards and all three judges had it for Garcia, who took the Unanimous Decision victory and halted a tough two-fight losing skid in the process.

“Kanna was tough opponent,” Garcia observed after her win. “Her wrestling was strong, but I worked hard in the clinch. I train Greco wrestling with Josh [Barnett], and I won the clinch battles by inserting my arm to the side. I was the better grappler. It was a great experience and nothing like anything that I’ve ever experienced before. It was amazing.”

“I wasn’t as nervous as I normally am for big events,” Asakura noted post-fight. “Alyssa pushed me for a long time and she had a better clinch game. I began to cry after the fight, but my father told me not to cry and that we’ll just have to train harder.”



(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)