Rizin FF Women’s Super Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki retained her title with a hard-fought Unanimous Decision win tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 16 in Kobe, Japan. Hamasaki defeated Invicta FC champion Jinh Yu Frey for a second time in their co-main event rematch at 49kg.

Hamasaki got off to a slow start tonight, but her dominance on the ground in the final round was enough to propel her to victory. Also at 49kg, standout wrestler Miyuu Yamamoto scored a huge victory by upsetting Rizin FF grand prix winner Kanna Asakura via a clear-cut Unanimous Decision.


Leg kicks were exchanged in the opening minute of tonight’s title fight and Hamasaki (18-2-0) landed a lead right hook. Frey (8-4-0) responded with more leg kicks and both women scored with hard punches in a brief exchange. The pace remained measured and Hamasaki connected with a right hand followed by a nice combination, but Frey answered back with a one-two and the fighters traded kicks in the final ten seconds of the round.

Hamasaki pressed forward with punches to begin round two and Frey countered with leg kicks. Hamasaki darted in with jabs and lead right hands, but Frey continued to score with hard kicks and both of Hamasaki’s legs began to turn red. Jabs were exchanged and Frey landed a liver kick, but neither fighter connected with anything damaging until Frey backed Hamasaki up with a huge left hand. Hamasaki regained her footing and walked in with punches of her own, but Frey targeted Hamasaki’s legs with more kicks in the final minute and the round ended with an exchange of punches.

Hamasaki immediately took Frey down in the final round and she landed elbows from the top in half-guard. Hamasaki used short punches to set up a move to side control, which allowed her to throw a series of knees to the head. Hamasaki trapped Frey’s arm and secured a top-side crucifix while peppering Frey with punches and short elbows. Frey could not escape and Hamasaki continued to land strikes until the final bell.

All three judges scored the championship fight in favour of Hamasaki due to her strong performance in round three. The 37-year-old has won nine of her past ten fights, including two against Frey, and her lone career defeats have come at strawweight.


Yamamoto (5-3-0) shot in for an early takedown in her featured matchup, but Asakura (14-4-0) stuffed it and the fighters were separated following a stalemate in the clinch. Yamamoto closed the distance again and she pulled Asakura down to the mat. Asakura reversed and took top position, but Yamamoto scrambled and the fight returned to the feet. Both women landed punches and Asakura dropped levels in search of a takedown of her own before the end of the round.

Yamamoto sprawled out to defend against an Asakura takedown attempt in round two and she landed knees to Asakura’s head. The fighters stood and both landed straight left hands in an exchange. Three jabs and a combination landed for Yamamoto, but Asakura fired back with lead right hands. Yamamoto snapped her down to the mat and took top position in the corner as Asakura looked to battle back up to her feet. Yamamoto landed punches on the way up and she kept Asakura pinned in a corner. Asakura attempted a late throw into a kimura attempt, but Yamamoto defended until the bell.

The final round began with Yamamoto reversing a takedown into a guillotine choke, which she used to sweep into top position in Asakura’s guard. Asakura postured for a triangle choke and Yamamoto used hammerfists to break free. The fight returned to the feet and Yamamoto landed a knee before stuffing another takedown attempt from Asakura. More knees scored for Yamamoto and she used another guillotine choke to reverse a second takedown. Asakura locked on a triangle choke from the bottom, but Yamamoto punched her way free and took Asakura’s back. Asakura attacked with a kimura and she used it to bring Yamamoto back down to the mat, but Yamamoto freed her arm and she blasted Asakura with hard punches in the final 30 seconds of the fight.

The judges were united and all three scored the fight for Yamamoto, giving the 44-year-old her fourth straight win. Tonight’s victory over the talented Asakura may put Yamamoto in line for a future shot at the Rizin FF women’s super atomweight title.



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