RIZIN 15: Jiri Prochazka beats King Mo, Kyoji Horiguchi defeats Ben Nguyen

Jiri Prochazka powers past King Mo, becomes first Rizin light heavyweight champion

Czechia’s Jiri Prochazka avenged his previous loss to “King Mo,” Muhammad Lawal and became Rizin FF’s first ever light heavyweight champion in the process on Sunday morning.

King Mo stopped the towering Prochazka in the first round when they last met back in 2015, but it was a totally different story in Yokohama.

The pair traded strikes for the first two rounds of this three-round title fight, Lawal seemingly happy to totally abandon his wrestling prowess and hunt for the knockout.

However, fatigue set in for the now-38-year-old King Mo and he was a sitting duck for the third round.

Sensing he was tired, Prochazka poured on the pressure in the hunt for a finish.

Lawal couldn’t weather the storm and slumped to the canvas as he succumbed to Prochazka’s punches.

Prochazka now boasts an MMA record of 24-3-1 and has won 18 of his last 20 fights and is on an eight-fight win streak. Of his 24 wins, 23 were finishes, 21 by knockout.

 

Kyoji Horiguchi overwhelms Ben Nguyen and takes first-round knockout win

Kyoji Horiguchi has fast become must-see MMA in Japan.

Rizin’s reigning bantamweight king easily dispatched UFC veteran Ben Nguyen in the first round in a catchweight contest.

Nguyen initially took the fight to Horiguchi, landing some stinging shots and even wound up taking the Japanese fighter’s back, threatening a choke.

But once Horiguchi escaped danger, the tide had turned.

Once Horiguchi had seemingly realised the level of threat posed to him by Nguyen, he turned on the afterburners.

Nguyen was floored with a right hand, but got back to his feet only to be met with more punches. Down he went on the deck once again.

Nguyen did well to survive, but Horiguchi had him trapped in the corner of the ring. Nguyen somehow remained standing as Horiguchi unloaded punches on his now-defenseless opponent.

Referee Jason Herzog, who made the trip over to Yokohama, had seen enough and rightly called the fight off.

Horiguchi is now 9-0 in Rizin and is enjoying a 12-fight win streak. It looks like he will be headed to Bellator to fight Darrion Caldwell for his bantamweight title in New York in the summer.

The pair have already fought before – Horiguchi submitted Caldwell to win his Rizin championship in December and will now be looking to take his foe’s belt off his hands.

 

See the rest of the Rizin results here.

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.