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After recapturing her atomweight title against Miyuu Yamamoto, Ayaka Hamasaki is ready to get back to defending her title. The RIZIN champ fights in the main event as she takes on Kanna Asakura in her first title defense of the most recent reign.
Before I dove into the fighting, I had to check up on the pups. If you read our first interview with Hamasaki, you’ll recall she enjoys spending time with her dogs in her down time when she’s not training. Her pets are doing great says Hamasaki. “My dogs and cats are all doing very well! Playing with my pets are the biggest stress relief for me.”
Ayaka Hamasaki: Champion Again
As mentioned at the top, Hamasaki was once the RIZIN champion already. She won the belt against Asakura already and made two defenses before dropping a super close decision at the end of 2019. Getting the belt back was the main goal for Ayaka Hamasaki. “I’m simple very happy that the belt is once again in my possession.”
Her capturing of the belt against Yamamoto saw Hamasaki win via leg scissor choke. It’s not something you see in MMA that often but Hamasaki made it seem effortless. As it turns out, she has.
“I practice this during practice often, so once the opportunity showed itself, it just came out naturally.”
We talked about the matchup against Yamamoto not being the best for Ayaka Hamasaki stylistically on our first interview. Ahead of that fight Hamasaki said the following:
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.Ayaka Hamasaki: The World Champion Collection
Regardless, it only took a minute and forty-two seconds for Hamasaki to put away the freestyle wrestling World Champion.
“Stylistically, I know the matchup was not in my favor. But the fight turned out the way it did and ended in the first round. But if Miyuu fought differently, the fight wouldn’t have ended this quickly.”
Hamasaki vs. Asakura 2 | RIZIN 27
Now, the rematch is set for Hamasaki at RIZIN 27. The two atomweights will prepare for battle and the beginning started in the gym. Ayaka Asakura doesn’t work on what the opponents are bad at. Instead, she focuses on being the best Ayaka Hamasaki on that night.
“I’ve been working on strengthening my strong points more than preparing for Asakura.”
As for who inspires the desire to fight, Hamasaki says it’s a WMMA legend that mentors her and inspires her to fight.
“My idol and mentor will always be Megumi Fujii san. This is something that will not change, ever.”
As famously promoted, RIZIN and Bellator held cross promotional events. For Ayaka Hamasaki, she knows the logistics behind it are tough. But having so much experience in other MMA promotions like DEEP and Invicta, she knows the benefits of reaching new audiences.
“I think it’s a very appealing and constructive thing. I know it’s not that easy for cross promotions, but if this idea could expand between more promotions, it would be great for everybody.”
So what can fans expect at RIZIN 27? For Ayaka Hamasaki, she plans on taking no prisoners. Get ready for a great title fight because that’s what she’s bringing to the table on the 21st.
“Of course expect me with a finish. That is what I always go in there to do, and that’s what I want people to see from me.”
Ayaka Hamasaki already has her name in the history books, having reached the top level of her division for some time. Her journey only continues at RIZIN 27.