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Mikuru Asakura returns to the ring at RIZIN 26 after his heartbreaking loss to Yutaka Saito at RIZIN 25. Asakura, the brother of Kai Asakura who also fights on this card, spoke with us ahead of that fight and looked forward to his reign as RIZIN champion. With that fight not going his way, Asakura is forced to step back, regroup, and improve to become a better fighter so he can recognize that dream of becoming champion.
Read the last interview with Mikuru Asakura below!
Headlining RIZIN 25, we spoke with Mikuru Asakura ahead of his featherweight title fight where he proclaimed with a win he’s to be the next face of RIZIN.
Asakura is not making any excuses for his loss against Saito. He says that the judges decided he was not the winner and that’s just a part of his journey through mixed martial arts. “It’s what the judges decided so I’m okay with the decision,” says Asakura.
But, the loss to Saito did not tear him down, instead it motivated Mikuru Asakura. He has found a new love for fighting in the loss and now he’s working harder and improving where he sees holes in his game.
“That loss definitely motivated me to work harder and I was able to see my weak points from that fight. I have realized that I love to fight and it’s been very exciting since that loss.”
As for a rematch, Asakura would take it in a heartbeat. He looks for payback and hopes to get it as soon as he can.
“I always pay back. So if the opportunity is presented I would like to fight him again. As soon as possible.”
Mikuru Asakura at RIZIN 26
RIZIN 26 is the biggest event of the year for the promotion. Having a name like Mikuru Asakura on the card in addition to names like Kyoji Horiguchi and and Ayaka Hamasaki, the Asakura brothers only boost the eyes on the New Year’s Eve event. Fighting with his brother doesn’t really effect the brothers in their fight, however.
At RIZIN 26, Asakura is taking on Satoshi Yamasu in a 150 pound fight. Yamasu is 11-5 and a good test for Asakura. Yamasu is making his RIZIN debut after some time in DEEP and a Pancrase fight. Asakura knows this is a winnable fight for him, but he’s not resting on his laurels and looks to change his style a bit coming into the fight. Asakura says, “It’s more work on my teammates but it really doesn’t effect us at all.”
As for what to expect, look for Asakura to be a more aggressive fighter and utilize some ground and pound at RIZIN 26. Asakura has been seen as a counter fighter for a while and is what really cost him against Saito at RIZIN 25. As he said earlier, Asakura knows he needs to change that and become the leader of a fight instead of the matador at times.
“I have been working on being more aggressive with my strikes, and ground and pound.”