Saori Oshima, Aoi Kuriyama Score Quick Wins At Rizin FF 43Saori Oshima wasted no time in securing her third Rizin FF victory tonight at Rizin Fighting Federation 43 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The two-division Deep and Deep Jewels champion quickly submitted Strawweight Queen of Pancrase Haruka “Salt” Hasegawa with a first-round scarf hold armlock.

Despite giving up seven inches in height and ten pounds to Hasegawa, the smaller Oshima steamrolled her opponent in their brief strawweight bout. Also on the Rizin FF 43 card tonight, Aoi Kuriyama earned a devastating first-round knockout victory over Marina Kumagai in bantamweight action.


Oshima (12-3-0) and Hasegawa (3-3-0) clinched in a corner and exchanged knees to the body during the opening minute until Oshima secured a headlock and threw Hasegawa down into the scarf hold position. Within seconds, Oshima trapped Hasegawa’s left arm between her legs and secured a scarf hold armlock – her signature hold, which she has now used to finish two of her past three fights – and Hasegawa hastily tapped out at the 1:16 mark of the opening round.

With tonight’s quick victory, Oshima has won five straight fights including four via submission. Her past defeats had each come against larger opponents, but that was not an issue for Oshima tonight.

“I had worried because people talked a lot about our size difference, but that made me train hard,” Oshima said backstage following her win. “I felt like she wanted to keep her distance and sprawl because I am a grappler. I’m a two-division Deep champion, but I am not famous yet and so I will continue to fight here at Rizin.”

“I couldn’t do anything and I regret that,” a disappointed Hasegawa said after the fight. “I wanted to keep my distance and strike. That way she couldn’t take me down, but I moved forward and that was my mistake. I lost, but I am still [Pancrase] champ. I will learn from this fight and it will make me into a better fighter.”

Saori Oshima Backstage At Rizin FF 43Aoi Kuriyama Backstage At Rizin FF 43
Saori Oshima (left) and Aoi Kuriyama (right) following Rizin FF 43 victories.


Kuriyama (5-5-1) evened her pro record with a one-punch knockout of Kumagai (3-5-0) in their clash earlier on the card. Following an exchange of leg kicks, Kumagai looked to close the distance with jabs and Kuriyama cracked her with a hard left cross. Kumagai answered with a one-two and continued to move forward. Soon after, however, she walked into a massive left hook from Kuriyama that sent Kumagai crashing to the mat and ended the fight at the 2:48 mark of round one.

The emphatic knockout victory got Kuriyama back on track following her defeat against Rin Nakai at Deep Jewels 40 in February. Kumagai, meanwhile, had her three-fight winning streak snapped.

“This is my first KO finish,” Kuriyama reflected after her win. “I planned to weave and counter her, and that is how I won. Thanks to [teammate] Kyohei [Hagiwara], I stayed calm at this big event. I want to rematch Shizuka [Sugiyama] in the future. Right now, I’m in a development stage.”

“I could not show what I had trained,” Kumagai noted backstage. “What I had aimed to do was to shoot first and then counter when my opponent punched, but I don’t remember her counterpunch and only realised what happened after the fight. I lack elements of fighting, and I need to rebuild my style, but first I need to improve my physical condition.”



(Top Photo Credit: Deep Jewels)