Interview with RIZIN 26 title challenger Ayaka Hamasaki
Ayaka Hamasaki Interview: The World Champion Collection

Ayaka Hamasaki: The World Champion Collection

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Ayaka Hamasaki is the other half of the main event from next week’s RIZIN 26 card. She takes on the wrestling phenom in Miyuu Yamamoto for the vacant RIZIN Atomweight Championship. Stoic and focused as ever, Hamasaki gave us some insight on her fighting career, the upcoming fight with Yamamoto and much more!

Hamasaki never went out on a trek to become a World Champion level fighter. Her journey was one out of heath. Hamasaki wanted to stay in shape. But, 23 fights later, soon to be 24, and three major world championships to her name, Hamasaki is a bonafide professional fighter, and a very good one at that.

“I started going to a gym to get myself in a habit of exercising. I did not think about becoming a fighter at all.”

Outside of fighting, Ayaka Hamasaki is an active person who loves her pets. “I play with my dogs and go for walks,” says Hamasaki. She stays active in her off time to be the best version of herself as a fighter as well.

First starting in Judo, Hamasaki gave up the sport after becoming a second Dan Black Belt and took up MMA. With Judo being an Olympic sport, Ayaka Hamasaki believes that MMA could become one as well, albeit, with some more growth.

“I think the amount of competitors in our sport is still too low for it to become an Olympic sport, but hopefully I hope it at least gets considered in the near future.”

Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto at RIZIN 26

The last title fight Hamasaki was in was against Seo Hee Ham at RIZIN 20. The fight did not go her way, but Hamasaki bounced back and got a win at RIZIN 22. But, being back in the title picture isn’t what’s the most appealing on New Year’s Eve. It’s fighting a legend such as Miyuu Yamamoto, who has won three World Championships in women’s freestyle wrestling.

“It’s more motivating about the fact of getting the opportunity to fight Miyuu Yamamoto. I know she’s going to be a tough opponent.”

But, this isn’t freestyle wrestling, it’s mixed martial arts. When you look at Ayaka Hamasaki’s 20-3 record compared to Yamamoto’s 6-4, you see where the advantage really lies. Hamasaki believes that it’s that experience in MMA that will give her a big advantage in the fight. Hamasaki says, “Absolutely. I think experience will definitely benefit me.”

Hamasaki believes everyone should tune in to her RIZIN 26 fight on New Year’s Eve. “Everybody will get to see a finish in this fight.” And with the fireworks between her and Yamamoto, fans are sure to be treated to just that.

Follow Ayaka Hamasaki on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to follow her fight week journey!

Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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