Ayaka Hamasaki To Face Claire Lopez At Rizin FF: “Landmark Vol. 8”Former Rizin FF Women’s Super Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki will step back into action on February 24th at Rizin Fighting Federation: “Landmark Vol. 8” in Saga, Japan. Hamasaki faces recent Rizin FF title challenger Claire Lopez in a 49kg bout that was announced earlier today.

Hamasaki has struggled since the end of 2021, losing twice to current Rizin FF champion Seika Izawa and going 1-1 during the remainder of 2022, but she now returns after taking an extended break from competition. Lopez also looks to get back on track after losing to Izawa in a July title bout.

Hamasaki (24-6-0) is a two-time holder of the Rizin FF women’s super atomweight title, and she also previously won championships for both Jewels and Invicta FC. The standout grappler won four straight fights for Rizin FF in 2020 and 2021 before being upset by Izawa in their first meeting in a non-title bout at Rizin FF 33. Hamasaki was subsequently beaten by Izawa again at Rizin FF 35 and relinquished her super atomweight title in the process. In July 2022, Hamasaki finally faced off against Jessica Aguilar, whom she was first set to fight more than 11 years earlier, and earned a Unanimous Decision win. However, her most recent fight at Rizin FF 38 ended in a decision loss to Si Woo Park.

Lopez (8-5-0) burst on to the scene in August 2021 with a strong showing during the one-night Combate Global: “Last Latina Standing” women’s strawweight tournament, where she advanced to the finals before being stopped by current UFC competitor Yazmin Jauregui. After taking a year off, Lopez returned with a 44-second submission win for Combate Global that earned her a spot on the Rizin FF: “Landmark Vol. 5” card this past April. There, Lopez submitted top Japanese star Rena Kubota with a third-round kneebar. The win earned Lopez a Rizin FF women’s super atomweight title shot, but she was quickly submitted by champion Izawa during the “Super Rizin 2” event this past July.

Rizin Fighting Federation: “Landmark Vol. 8” is set for February 24th at SAGA Arena in Saga, Japan.



(Photo Credit: Rizin Fighting Federation)