It was mixed results for our Brisbane based fighters at Rizin FF 15 earlier today with Damien Brown defeating Koji Takeda but his training partner Ben Nguyen went down in his promotional debut
The event took place at the Yokohama Arena in Japan.
In his first fight since his UFC release, Nguyen came up against the highly regarded Japanese fighter Kyoji Horiguchi. The 30-year-old came out aggressive attempting to impose his will on Horiguchi who shot in for an early takedown. Nguyen successfully defended and managed to jump on his opponents back. Horiguchi shook him off and the fighters started exchanging on their feet. Horiguchi nailed Nguyen with a right and a left shortly after to take control of the contest. Horiguchi pressured and dropped Nguyen a pair of times before the referee rescued Nguyen.
— TOM (@KICK_MMA2019) April 21, 2019
Horiguchi has now won 12 in a row with his last MMA loss coming at the hands of Demetrious Johnson back in 2015. After securing the win, Horiguchi and Rizin promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara spoke about their aim of securing the Bellator bantamweight strap in June. In a cross-promotional battle on the NYE show back in December, Horiguchi defeated the Bellator champ Darrion Caldwell and is now looking to rematching him under the Bellator banner.
Earlier on the card, Damien Brown won his second straight fight in the promotion with a dominating and entertaining unanimous decision victory against the previously undefeated Koji Takeda.
Takeda started with heavy leg kicks however Brown found his spot with a counter right and rocked his opponent which he followed up with a left and a high kick. Both exchanged heavy as the round ended. Takeda got some strikes off in the second round as he secured a takedown though Brown scrambled back to his feet came back into the round with a combination of strikes where he landed that counter right again. The two continued the heavy striking exchanges in the third round as both took turns coming forward. The Aussie though finished the stronger, cornering Takeda and swinging away at him before the round ended.
Brown was awarded the unanimous decision and the 34-year-old who recently opened up his own MMA school, moves to 19-12 in his professional career. After a December win against Daron Cruickshank, this fight was also the last on Brown’s Rizin FF contract but after two wins from as many fights, expect for an improved contract to come.
In the main event, Jiri Procházka won the Rizin light-heavyweight title with a third round knock-out over Muhammad Lawal.