Saori Oshima Upsets Kanna Asakura In Rizin FF 31 Co-HeadlinerTwo-division Deep and Deep Jewels champion Saori Oshima wowed fans with her breakout performance tonight in the co-main event of Rizin Fighting Federation 31 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Oshima earned her fourth straight win by upsetting Kanna Asakura via a hard-fought Split Decision.

The opening round was dominated by Oshima, who quickly took Asakura down and kept her on the defensive with punches and non-stop submission attempts. Asakura rallied in the second half of the fight, but she could not keep up with the work rate of Oshima, who took the well-deserved win.


Oshima (7-2-0), the reigning Deep Women’s Microweight Champion and Deep Jewels Atomweight Champion, landed a lead left hook early in tonight’s fight that set up a takedown into side control. She trapped Asakura’s (18-6-0) left arm with her legs and landed numerous right hands to Asakura’s face before securing a scarf hold armlock. To her credit, Asakura defended well by trapping Oshima’s head in a leg scissor choke from the bottom, but Oshima escaped and she resumed punching from a top-side crucifix position. Asakura tried to power out from the bottom, but Oshima countered with armbar and kneebar attempts before the bell.

Knowing that she was way behind after the opening round, Asakura performed much better in the second stanza. She reversed an early Oshima takedown and punched from the top until Oshima rolled for an ankle lock and then a heel hook. Asakura responded with an elbow from the top and Oshima landed two upkicks before fully extending Asakura’s leg in a kneebar. Asakura pulled her leg out and retook top position, where she landed more punches and Oshima upkicked from the bottom. Asakura remained on top in Oshima’s half-guard until Oshima secured a sweep in the final seconds.

The final round began with Oshima landing a right hook to the body and Asakura immediately replied with a liver kick. Oshima tried to pull Asakura down to the mat with a guillotine choke, but she lost it on the way down and Asakura landed elbows and punches to Oshima’s body from side control. She prevented Oshima from exploding out from the bottom, but Oshima did land two hard upkicks after pushing Asakura off of her. Asakura settled back into Oshima’s half-guard and both women landed hammerfists until the end of the fight.

Judge Masato Kataoka scored the fight in favour of Asakura, but he was overruled by judges Tomoki Matsumiya and Yoshifumi Oyabu, who both sided with Oshima for a Split Decision victory. The win over former Rizin GP champ Asakura is even more impressive given that Oshima has only been competing professionally in MMA since January 2020.

“People around me felt that Kanna was the favourite [to win], and I didn’t have good results while training at AACC, but I was able to put on a good fight in the end,” Oshima stated backstage following her win. “Kanna’s grappling is different from what I’ve been used to because she respected my submissions and didn’t throw wild punches from the top.

“My upkicks weren’t trained, but they came to mind during the fight,” Oshima added. “I didn’t use judo throws too often before, but today I used them naturally and I chose to be on the bottom because I was good at getting submissions from there during training. [Teammate] Rena [Kubota] was glad and she congratulated me. My husband also said congrats after the fight, and then I came back to reality when I was carrying my [twin] children in my arms.”

“It was a Split Decision, but I must admit that I lost,” a dejected Asakura said backstage. “Oshima was really strong, both in her power and in her grappling technique. She is good from the bottom, and her offensive grappling was better than my defence. I fell this time, so I can only go up from here.”