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Smiles and Tears

Rizin 14 Results

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Nasukawa Tenshin

December 31, 2018

By Roberto Pedreira

Posted January 1, 2019 (JST)


Above, smiles (thinking about that big check)

Above, reality-check and tears 

Rizin decided to do without the Gracie family in 2018, and maybe from now on. The decision was probably not motivated exclusively by short-term cost-cutting considerations, judging by the size of Floyd's check (especially in relation to what he had to do to get it).

Rizin's plan seems to be to invest minimally in new, cheap, young, local talent, with a few affordable foreigners to spice things up from the fans' POV.

Was there anything of interest to the knowledgeable MMA fan?

Not much, but something is more than nothing so here it is.

Enson Yamamoto 山本エンソン versus Kazuyuki Miyata 宮田和幸

Enson comes from a wrestling family. Miyata was an international level (Olympic and World) competitor. After the tie-up, when Enson took Miyata down, the ringside commenter said, "that was surprising". I suspect it was more than surprising. Miyata spent most of the match on bottom using his legs and hips very effectively. No ground and pound for Miyata. He had been taking BJJ lessons, obviously. He finished Enson with a chicken-wing from the bottom. Enson went away in tears, as was his custom. Miyata remarked that, after 14 years as a professional MMA fighter, he had finally learned enough about BJJ to fight with the Brazilians. But it was too late. He was retiring (apparently to head his own team of young hopefuls).


Kanna Asakura 浅倉カンナversus Hamasaki Ayaka 浜崎朱加

For a 36 year old lady, Ayaka showed excellent skills both on stand-up and on the ground, good cardio, and smart strategy, possibly the contribution of her coaching team at Haleo (wherever that is...Haleo evidently also helped karate man Horiguchi Kyoji 堀口恭司 with his ground game, thanks to which he was able to head-and arm guillotine choke the over-confident wrestler Darrien Caldwell). Despite her babyish appearance, Kanna is a pretty tough cooky. Long may Ayaka reign as the atom-weight queen of Rizin.

Floyd versus Tenshin (Nasukawa Tenshin) 那須天心

Floyd didn't pull his punches after the fight. It wasn't for real, he said. It didn't affect his record, or Tenshin's. Tenshin is still a great, undefeated champion, like Floyd himself (although obviously less so). It was just "entertainment". It probably wasn't so entertaining for Tenshin. 日刊スポツ (January 1, 2019) emphasized that Floyd didn't take it seriously, and "blew in like a storm (), stayed 50 hours in total, and left immediately after the fight for Las Vegas by way of Haneda Airport with about 10億円 " (in his bank account). 10億円 is roughly 9-10 million US dollars, by the way, depending on the exchange rate..

Tenshin threw 32 punches. Floyd threw 34. Floyd knocked Tenshin down three times. It was over in 2:19 of the first round of the three scheduled rounds. Tenshin weighed 61, Floyd weighed 67. Tenshin was prohibited from using his kicks. That might have made a difference but probably not, because Floyd wouldn't have gotten into the ring with him under those conditions. He doesn't need the money. A large factor in achieving a successful outcome in any conflict situation is being able to set the rules. Being adequately capitalized lets a player call his own shots. Floyd, by most accounts, is adequately capitalized.

Tenshin was a warrior in the Japanese sense. He knew he had no chance. He did it for the team. Tenshin's coach explained, "本当に怖くてたまらないんですよ。メィウエザーが本気になったら、天心が壊されるかもしれないじゃないですか " [He (Tenshin) was really afraid. If Mayweather had gone for real, Tenshin would have gotten seriously hurt."]

Tenshin's own post-fight comment was: 皆さん、応援ありがとうございました。もっとできるかなと思ったんですけど....。すごい、皆さんの応援が力になりました。僕は幸せです。また頑張ります." ["Everyone, thanks for supporting me. I thought I might be able to do better, but.....It's great, I got strength from your support. I'm happy. I will do my best next time."]

At least one Japanese fan's assessment was, "Tenshin looked like a little boy. Maybe it shattered his confidence. He thought he was strong. But it will make him more popular with the fans." 

The promoters and sports writers awkwardly compared the fight to the Muhammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki match of 1976. Ali vs. Inoki was a legitimate if lamely executed mixed arts fight, boxing against pro wrestling (ground fighting in fact, or at least it would have been if Ali had been foolish enough to go to the ground, which obviously he wasn't). Floyd vs. Tenshin was a fight between a boxer and a kickboxer where the kickboxer couldn't kick. 

But the two mega-events did have something in common. The purpose of the first was to parasitize Ali's world-wide fame to market Inoki's pro wrestling company. It succeeded in that. The Floyd versus Tenshin exhibition must have been similarly motivated. It's difficult to think of any other excuse.

The only surprise was that, for what was supposedly entertainment, it wasn't.  


Other Floyd Mayweather Comments

Floyd versus Conor Pre-Fight

Floyd versus Conor Post-Fight

Other Rizin Reports

Rizin 1 (Erson Yamamato vs. Kron Gracie)

Rizin 2

Rizin 3

Rizin 14 Pre-Fight


(c) 2019, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.




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