Ayaka Hamasaki, Miyuu Yamamoto Score Key Wins At Rizin FF 13Former Deep Jewels and Invicta FC champion Ayaka Hamasaki picked up her second straight victory inside the Rizin FF ring tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 13 in Saitama, Japan. Hamasaki quickly dispatched of current Deep Jewels titleholder Mina Kurobe in a one-sided matchup at 49kg.

Hamasaki displayed her dominance on the feet and on the ground before forcing Kurobe to submit to a kimura. Elsewhere at 49kg, Miyuu Yamamoto, competing for the first time since the passing of her brother, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, avenged a loss by defeating Andy “The CrAsian” Nguyen.


Hamasaki (16-2-0) was very aggressive with punching combinations right away and she backed Kurobe (12-4-0) into a corner. Kurobe fired back with a flurry of her own and initiated a clinch soon after, but Hamasaki scored with a nice one-two and a body kick after breaking free from the clinch. Kurobe tied her up again and Hamasaki countered with a sweep takedown, which allowed her to land a nice knee to the face on the ground. Kurobe tried to stand and Hamasaki punished her with punches to the head.

As the round progressed, Hamasaki blasted Kurobe with hammerfists and eventually rolled for a kimura attempt, but Kurobe took her back in the process. Hamasaki stood up and maintained her grip on Kurobe’s left arm, which she used to drag her back down to the ground. Hamasaki wrenched back on the kimura until Kurobe finally tapped out at the 4:45 mark of the opening stanza.

“Mina is known for her stamina, so I wanted to finish the fight earlier,” Hamasaki stated backstage following her win, as Typhoon Trami swept through Japan. “If it went to a second round, the fight could have gone Mina’s way. The kimura came from the flow as we grappled. I train that regularly. People want to see me fight against [Rizin FF Women’s Super Atomweight Champion] Kanna [Asakura]. I’m ready for that fight anytime.”

“I got hit hard in the first round,” Kurobe noted backstage after the disappointing defeat. “I was wary of her armlock, but couldn’t defend. I wanted to survive the submission because stamina is my strongest point and I wanted a more competitive fight in the later rounds. However, I couldn’t, and Ayaka is a very strong fighter. I still want to continue my career.”


Yamamoto (3-3-0) shot in and took Nguyen (6-7-0) down in the opening minute of their emotionally-charged rematch. Nguyen tied her up from the bottom, but Yamamoto eventually postured up and dropped punches to Nguyen’s face. Yamamoto kept Nguyen pinned down in a corner and threw short strikes to the head and body as time ticked down. She trapped Nguyen’s left arm and landed a series of unanswered right hands late in the round.

Nguyen missed with a left hook in round two and Yamamoto took her down into side control. Nguyen got back to half-guard as Yamamoto peppered her with punches. Nguyen later secured full guard and began posturing for a triangle choke and an armbar. Yamamoto avoided danger by punching from the top, and she passed to side control with 20 seconds remaining and landed knees to Nguyen’s ribs.

Nguyen pressed the action with punch-kick combos early in the final round. Yamamoto caught a kick and took Nguyen down into side control once again, where she landed hammerfists to the face and maintained position. Nguyen looked to trap Yamamoto’s head with her legs, but Yamamoto kept the pressure on with knees to the body and more punches. Nguyen fought her way back to full guard and ate more punches in the process. With 50 seconds remaining, Nguyen kicked Yamamoto off and the fight returned to the feet. Nguyen landed a nice body kick, but Yamamoto took her back down and landed knees before spinning into an armbar right at the bell.

All three judges scored the fight in favour of Yamamoto, who avenged her past loss to Nguyen with tonight’s Unanimous Decision victory.

“I’m glad I won, but I’m not satisfied that I was not able to throw standing strikes,” Yamamoto stated after her win. “I did not get to show what I’ve trained. I’ve gotten better on the ground. My coach taught me to grab on to limit my opponents, so I grabbed her wrists. I didn’t know which submissions Andy would try on the ground. I felt that the audience cherished ‘Kid,’ but I couldn’t listen to [son] Erson’s speech. I know that everyone stood in silence for ‘Kid,’ but my room had loud music on and I could not turn up the TV until it was too late. However, if I had listened to the speeches and ceremony, it would have made me too emotional, and so I am okay with being able to think about my fight instead.”

“Of course I wanted to win the fight, but I’m happy for Miyuu to win as well,” a gracious Nguyen noted backstage. “This time, she had the better ground skills. She had a nice armbar attempt at the end for the fans’ excitement. I said congrats to her after the fight. I want to come back even though I lost, and I will fight again in Hawaii in six weeks.”



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