Kanna Asakura Earns Key Win Over Satomi Takano At Rizin FF 35Former two-time Rizin FF title challenger Kanna Asakura got back on track with a much-needed victory tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 35 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. Asakura took a hard-fought Unanimous Decision over Shooto champion Satomi “Sarami” Takano in a 49kg super atomweight bout.

Asakura, who was coming off of back-to-back Split Decision defeats in 2021, used her wrestling skills to take Takano down multiple times tonight. Takano was active off of her back with submission attempts, but Asakura’s top control and ground and pound were enough to earn her a close win.


The fighters traded jabs during a cautious opening two minutes until Asakura (19-6-0) closed in for a takedown attempt. Takano (16-13-0) stayed on her feet and Asakura held her in the corner. She took Takano’s back and tried to suplex her to the mat, but Takano regained her footing and Asakura kept her pinned in place. She landed two short elbows and then dropped down for a takedown. Takano sprawled out to defend and Asakura latched on to a kimura grip as the fight returned to the feet. She tripped Takano very briefly and finished the round with two knees to the body.

Takano landed a front kick to the body and a nice three-punch combination early in round two. Asakura took her down and she worked from the top until Takano tried to trap her in a triangle choke. Asakura escaped and she also fought free from an omoplata. The fighters stood up in the corner and Asakura secured another takedown. Takano kicked her off and then threw up her legs to trap Asakura’s left arm in an armbar. Asakura pulled her arm out and then used hammerfists to defend against a Takano heel hook shortly before the bell.

In the final round, Takano knocked Asakura off-balance with a left hook and she clinched with her in the corner after Asakura stood up. Asakura scored a takedown into Takano’s guard, but Takano looked for a guillotine choke from the bottom and she tried to sweep into mount. Asakura escaped and managed to retain top position. Both women landed short punches and Takano threw up her legs for an armbar. When Asakura escaped, Takano kicked her in the face and stood up. In the final 20 seconds, both fighters landed combinations, and an exhausted Asakura collapsed after the bell.

All three judges scored the close fight in favour of Asakura, who halted the first two-fight losing streak of her career. The 24-year-old has been competing for Rizin since December 2016, and she has gained a tremendous amount of experience during that time despite her young age.

Kanna Asakura Backstage At Rizin FF 35Satomi Takano Backstage At Rizin FF 35
Kanna Asakura (left) and Satomi Takano (right) backstage following Rizin FF 35.


“I’m relieved because I was on a losing streak,” Asakura said backstage following her win. “[Takaki] Soya’s win [yesterday] inspired me. I planned to fight aggressively, but my best parts of this fight were my takedowns. I want to be able to do both striking and takedowns, but today I focused more on just the takedowns and that worked well. Seika [Izawa] vs Ayaka [Hamasaki] is a real high-level fight, and so I need to get back to my reality and my strengths.”

“I was prepared for the fight to go everywhere, and I trained for striking and grappling, but I should have been more aggressive,” Takano said. “She is not a fighter that I should have lost to, and what I trained was not wrong. Circumstances did not change my performance, but I do prefer the cage more [over the ring]. My height is not enough compared to other super atomweight fighters, and my grappling from the bottom was not good enough tonight. Seika is strong, and I want to one day face her in the future.”



(Top Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)