Follow The Fight Library on social media!
RIZIN 25 marks the return of the Japanese promotion to action on November 21st, with a headlining fight between Mikuru Asakura and Yutaka Saito. The fight will be for the RIZIN featherweight title. The bold and brash Asakura is 13-1 and is ranked number one on the MMA-Prospects.com RIZIN featherweight rankings.
While Americans may not be familiar with Mikuru Asakura, he is a superstar in Japan. He’s won seven fights in a row with RIZIN. Asakura has fighting in his DNA. Ever since he was a kid, Asakura has been a fan of fighting and his fights outside of martial arts is how he found his way to the sport of MMA. “It was an extension from fighting in the streets. I was just looking for excitement was introduced to an underground organization called ‘The Outsider.’”
Outside of fighting, Asakura is setting up his life after fighting building his brand. “I am into filming content for my YouTube page.” The all-Japanese channel has 1.61 million subscribers and host videos from fighting and training every day life from the Japanese sensation.
Mikuru Asakura and RIZIN 25
The call to fight for the title was a long time coming for Mikuru Asakura. “Finally,” said Asakura. “I’ve won seven in a row for the promotion so it’s about time I got this opportunity.” The seven fight winning streak dates back to 2018 and has wins over fighters like John Teixeira, Yusuke Yachi and more.
If Mikuru Asakura’s name sounds familiar, it should. He is brother of RIZIN champion, Kai Asakura. While he does occasionally train with his brother, Mikuru says the two don’t train together as much as one would think.
“I practice with him occasionally, but were really don’t train too much together. And we don’t exchange techniques.”
In his last win at RIZIN 21 against Daniel Salas, Asakura displayed his skills to their fullest. He switched up his shots and worked the body beautifully. In the first round, Asakura landed a head kick but it didn’t get the job done. It wasn’t until the second round that Mikuru Asakura got the finish, with the high kick at that. It was said body work that really allowed him to get the finish and was set up beautifully by Asakura.
“I had him thinking about body blows so his guard would go down every time I attacked. I just needed one opening.” That one opening was all he did need, as he finished the fight with a bit of ground and pound.
Since joining RIZIN in 2018, it’s been nothing but a rise for Asakura. Being in such a big stage in Japan where MMA and RIZIN is wildly popular, Asakura feels right at home in his home promotion. “I like that it brings in the most amount of spectators, the most exposure and the most popularity.”
Last November, Mikuru Asakura appeared in Ehime Pro Wrestling in an exhibition match. He took on Atsushi Saito, another pro fighter, in an exhibition match that lasted 25 seconds. “The story was built up with some Youtube conflict. It was such an easy paycheck,” Asakura said with a smirk.
Dedicated to the Process
While Asakura has fought at the 66 kilogram limit before, he’s fought up into the 70 kilo range in the past. Being as large as he is, some would be concerned over the weight cut. Not Asakura, however. He says, “I have no problem cutting down to the limited weight. Everything is going fine.”
Mikuru Asakura has big plans with RIZIN after he wins the belt. “Winning the belt will mean that I will officially become the face of this promotion.” With several highlight finishes, Asakura would definitely be near the top, if not at the top, of RIZIN’s most exciting fighters.