Kaitlin Young, Kanako Murata Earn Wins At Rizin FF 12 In NagoyaInvicta FC matchmaker and Muay Thai standout Kaitlin Young returned to mixed martial arts competition for the first time since 2014 and scored a key victory tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 12 in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Young defeated rising star “King” Reina Miura in featherweight action.

Miura was unable to secure a submission on the mat and Young dominated the fight on the feet to take a Unanimous Decision victory. Earlier on the card, highly-touted wrestler Kanako Murata steamrolled UFC castoff Angela “Your Majesty” Magana en route to a second-round submission finish.


Young (8-9-1) landed kick-punch combinations and mixed up her strikes to the head and body in round one. She repeatedly scored with kicks to Miura’s (9-2-0) lead leg and head. Miura struggled to land anything aside from occasional leg kicks, but she cracked Young with two overhand rights near the end of the round. Young responded with knees and the fighters traded strikes in a clinch before the bell.

More stiff leg kicks landed for Young in round two and she followed with two right hands. Power punches were exchanged and Young chopped away at Miura’s lead leg. Miura finally caught a kick and tripped Young down to the mat. She took Young’s back and hunted for a rear-naked choke, but Young spun into her guard and stood up. Young landed one-twos, a standing elbow and a big right hand, and Miura took her down again just as time expired.

Miura threw Young to the mat early in the final round, but Young immediately swept and stood back up. She landed more leg kicks and punches, followed by a head kick. Young continued to pick Miura apart with kicks until Miura finally initiated a clinch. Young countered with knees, but Miura got her down into side control. Young tried to scramble up and Miura took her back. She landed short right hands and tried unsuccessfully for a rear-naked choke before the end of the fight.

All three judges scored the fight in favour of Young, who picked up her first MMA win since January 2012. She has stayed busy in Muay Thai competition, however, racking up numerous victories since taking on the Invicta FC matchmaker role.

“It was great experience and Reina was a great opponent,” Young said backstage after her win. “I did what I trained for tonight. I survived the ground situations due to my experience. I will continue to fight in MMA and Muay Thai as well. I can’t say whether I will next fight in the U.S.A. or Japan, but I definitely want to come back to Rizin.”

“I expected Young to throw more knees, but she didn’t, and that created fewer chances for takedowns,” Miura noted backstage. “Her leg kicks did not do that much damage, but her hand strikes were strong. Dropping down [to featherweight] means that there is a greater talent pool. I need to train more.”


Murata (8-1-0) secured a takedown into side control early in round one and she landed short elbows to Magana’s (11-10-0) face from a top-side crucifix. Murata switched to punches as Magana stood up. She threw Magana to the mat once more and stayed on her back, using right hands and knees to try to set up a rear-naked choke. Magana escaped and stood again, but another takedown followed from Murata, who peppered Magana with punches. She trapped Magana in a front headlock and kept her pinned down on the mat, and scored with numerous punches and hammerfists in the final minute.

Murata clinched after landing a knee in round two and she held Magana against a corner post. Magana circled out and Murata threw a one-two to the body and head. A nice body kick scored for Murata and she took Magana down into side control. Murata tightened her grip on a shoulder choke as she passed to mount and Magana tapped out to the choke at the 3:52 mark of round two.

“I was able to finish the fight, but I want to improve,” Murata stated backstage following her victory. “I controlled the entire fight and that’s what I trained for. My opponent is famous and everyone knows of her. When I tackled her, she tried to grab me and that is what created the opportunity for the Von Flue [shoulder] choke. My debut was in Nagoya, and so I am glad to be able to come back here and win.”

“I’m disappointed, but [Murata] was better today,” Magana commented backstage. “I need to improve my wrestling; not only for today but also for the Olympics. [Murata] did a Von Flue choke and I could not move, so I had to tap before passing out. I want to come back to Japan. It was a great experience and the Olympics are also a target for me.”



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com / InvictaFC.com)