Smiles and Tears
Rizin 14 Results
Mayweather Jr. versus Nasukawa Tenshin
Posted January 1, 2019 (JST)
(thinking about that big check)
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
Not much, but something is more than nothing so here it
山本エンソン versus Kazuyuki
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
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
2019) emphasized that Floyd didn't take it seriously, and "blew in
like a storm (嵐), 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:
["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
Rizin 14 Pre-Fight
(c) 2019, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.