Rena Kubota Stops Miyuu Yamamoto In Rizin FF 32 Main EventWhile the victory did not come easily, Rena Kubota made it two-for-two against rival Miyuu Yamamoto tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 32 in Okinawa, Japan. Kubota survived Yamamoto’s strong ground and pound, then finished her with a counter knee and punches in the 50kg main event.

Kubota, who submitted Yamamoto at Rizin FF 2 five years ago, sustained significant swelling and a cut above her right eye during tonight’s rematch, but she instantly changed the course of the bout with the single knee strike. Also tonight, Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro narrowly edged out Aira Koga at 49kg.


Kubota (12-3-0) opened the action with leg kicks and a right cross, and Yamamoto (6-6-0) fired back with two overhand lefts. She ducked under a right hand from Kubota and shot in for a takedown, which led to a clinch in the corner until Kubota broke free with a knee to the body. Yamamoto landed an overhand left and attempted an ankle pick takedown, but Kubota easily stayed on her feet. Yamamoto was undeterred, and she rushed forward and took Kubota down in a corner. Yamamoto punched from the top and Kubota countered with an armbar from her back. Yamamoto tried to spin free, but Kubota fully extended her arm. Yamamoto refused to submit and she managed to clinch her hands together, then finished the round by landing hammerfists from top position.

Yamamoto caught a kick and took Kubota down in the opening seconds of round two. Kubota tried to tie her up from the bottom, but Yamamoto scored with punches to the body and a few elbows and hammerfists to Kubota’s face. A cut was opened above Kubota’s right eye as Yamamoto targeted it with more hammerfists, and both of Kubota’s eyes swelled up. Yamamoto continued to strike from the top until Kubota kicked her off and got back to her feet. Soon after, Yamamoto shot in for a takedown and Kubota landed a perfectly-timed counter knee to Yamamoto’s nose. Yamamoto collapsed to the mat and weakly held on to Kubota’s leg as Kubota blasted her with hammerfists until the fight was stopped at the 3:35 mark of round two.

The damage around both of Kubota’s eyes – and particularly the large gash from Yamamoto’s elbows – was clearly evident during her post-fight speech, but tonight’s performance showed that Kubota can stay calm in the face of adversity and that she remains one of the best strikers on the Rizin FF roster. Kubota has now won four fights in a row and has recently hinted that she might continue to compete for longer than initially planned after first voicing her intentions to soon retire earlier this year.


In an action-packed, back-and-forth super atomweight bout, Deep Jewels contender Oshiro (4-4-0) followed up on her big win at Deep Jewels 34 in September by defeating the previously unbeaten Koga (2-1-0) via Split Decision tonight.

Koga darted in and out and scored with left hooks to Oshiro’s body and head, and Oshiro countered with a knee and an overhand right. The fighters battled in a clinch in the corner and both landed knees to the body as Oshiro attempted a takedown. She got Koga down to a seated position for one second, but Koga rose back up to her feet. Oshiro landed right hands to Koga’s nose, which began to bleed. She threw Koga down to the mat, but Koga powered out from the bottom and stood up. Oshiro took Koga down again, then landed punches and locked on an inverted heel hook before the bell.

Oshiro secured an early clinch in the second round and she landed short strikes while looking for a takedown. Koga stayed on her feet and eventually broke free, then landed two overhand rights. Oshiro clinched again and this time she got Koga down. Koga was able to stand in the corner and Oshiro held her in place while throwing knees to Koga’s body. She ducked her head and tried for a takedown, but Koga locked on a standing guillotine choke. Oshiro pulled her head out and secured a throw into mount position. Koga swept from the bottom and wound up in Oshiro’s guard, but Oshiro attacked with heel strikes to her kidneys. Koga postured up with three elbows in the final seconds.

Koga fought off Oshiro’s takedown attempts early in round three and landed jabs until Oshiro was able to punch her way into a clinch in the corner. She landed short knees and tripped Koga, but it was Koga who landed hammerfists on the ground and she got back to her feet. Two hard one-twos scored for Koga and she fought off one takedown attempt. Oshiro got her down on her second try, but Koga reversed position immediately and struck from the top. Oshiro attempted a triangle choke and Koga stood up. Back on the feet, Koga landed a combination and Oshiro clinched. She took Koga down, but Koga trapped her in a guillotine choke on the way down and held on to it until the end of the fight.

Koga’s reversals on the ground and late-fight submission attempts were enough to earn her the nod on one judge’s scorecard, but the remaining two judges both sided with Oshiro for a Split Decision win. Oshiro hopes to make another quick return to action and campaigned for a fight at Rizin FF’s year-end event on New Year’s Eve.



(Photo Credit: Rizin Fighting Federation)