Seika Izawa Defeats Ayaka Hamasaki Again, Wins Title At Rizin FF 35Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Seika Izawa stayed unbeaten and also added a second title to her collection tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 35 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. Izawa defeated Ayaka Hamasaki once again in a rematch to become Rizin FF Women’s Super Atomweight Champion.

While tonight’s victory was not as dominant as in December, when Izawa stopped Hamasaki in the second round of their non-title bout at Rizin FF 33, it was nevertheless an excellent performance from the fast-rising star. Izawa discussed future plans and potential opponents following her win tonight.


Izawa (6-0-0) jumped into a flying guillotine choke attempt early in tonight’s championship fight, but Hamasaki (23-5-0) broke her grip and Izawa returned to a standing position. She shot in for a takedown against the ropes and got Hamasaki down into side control. Izawa landed three knees to Hamasaki’s face and Hamasaki countered with a kimura. Izawa spun free and then transitioned to an armbar and a triangle choke from her back. Hamasaki broke the triangle, but Izawa punched from her back and then kicked Hamasaki off. Hamasaki stood over Izawa and kicked at her legs until Izawa got back to her feet, and the round ended in a clinch in the corner.

Hamasaki landed three right hooks as Izawa closed the distance in the second round, but Izawa got her down and nearly passed to mount. Hamasaki maintained half-guard until Izawa passed to side control. She looked to set up a keylock and then a kimura on Hamasaki’s left arm. Izawa landed three knees to the side of Hamasaki’s head, then more knees to her face. She locked on a tight guillotine choke from mount, but Hamasaki held on and escaped. Izawa switched to an armbar and then a triangle choke, to no avail. Hamasaki stood over Izawa and tried unsuccessfully for a flying stomp before time expired.

The final round began with Hamasaki getting a takedown and she moved to North-South position. Izawa tried to power out from the bottom, but Hamasaki kept her down and then leaned back with an armbar attempt. Izawa defended and kicked Hamasaki in the face. Hamasaki extended Izawa’s arm in the armbar, but Izawa immediately rolled backward and spun free from the hold. She took top position and landed knees to Hamasaki’s face while keeping her trapped in a front headlock. Izawa then attacked with an armbar in a transition and Hamasaki had to act quickly to escape. From the bottom, Izawa held Hamasaki in an arm-triangle choke and Hamasaki punched to the body until the final bell.

All three judges at ringside favoured Izawa’s submission attempts and activity on the ground, and she was rewarded with a Unanimous Decision victory. Having made her MMA debut on October 31, 2020, Izawa has been competing professionally for fewer than 18 months. In that short period of time, the highly talented 24-year-old has already captured two of the most prestigious women’s titles in Japan and has solidified her spot as the sport’s top-ranked super atomweight.

Seika Izawa Backstage At Rizin FF 35Ayaka Hamasaki Backstage At Rizin FF 35
Seika Izawa (left) and Ayaka Hamasaki (right) backstage following Rizin FF 35.


“I’m glad that I’m a double champ now. Two belts on my shoulders are heavy,” an elated Izawa said backstage. “I was tired in the third round, and I regret that so I cried [in the ring]. I also couldn’t move immediately when I was on the bottom tonight. Ayaka researched me well and she didn’t take top position on the ground. She instead kicked me from the Inoki-Ali position. I used my knees well to transition on the ground and I trained hard so that I could also strike against her.

“I don’t think too much about my ranking yet because my career is still too short,” Izawa added. “I am interested in a super atomweight grand prix, and I want to beat other fighters on the Rizin roster, too. Regarding Invicta FC champion [Jéssica Correa] Delboni, if Rizin would like to match her up against me, then I welcome that.”

“[Izawa] took me down and got better positions, and that is how I lost,” a disappointed Hamasaki said. “Her strongest point is her takedown. Her chain grappling did not tire me, but she mixed strikes in with her grappling and that was not good for me. I’m too passive, but I can see my improvements in this fight and I was not worried about losing by submission. That’s why I would like to fight her again. If there is a grand prix opportunity, I will take it.”



(Top Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)