RIZIN FF 26 takes place on Thursday, December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the event, and MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a look at the opening odds below.
RIZIN FF 26 Odds
Kyoji Horiguchi -137
Kai Asakura +110
Ayaka Hamasaki -714
Miyuu Yamamoto +450
Mikuru Asakura -500
Satoshi Yamasu +350
Here are my initial thoughts on the Opening Odds for RIZIN FF 26:
- The main event of RIZIN FF 26 is a rematch between RFF bantamweight champion Kai Asakura (15-2) and former champ Kyoji Horiguchi (28-2). Asakura pulled off an incredible upset in August 2019 when he knocked out Horiguchi at RIZIN FF 18. However, the belt was not on the line in that fight, though Horiguchi later vacated it because he felt he wasn’t the rightful champion. Believe it or not, but that was the last time we saw Horiguchi fight. The rematch with Asakura for last December was scratched after Horiguchi suffered a leg injury and he hasn’t been able to fight in 2020 for various issues. Asakura, meanwhile, fought Manel Kape for the vacant belt last December and lost by KO, and Kape later ended up signing with the UFC. After Kape gave up the belt, Asakura knocked out Hiromasa Ougikubo back in August to claim the vacant title. He later knocked out Shoji Maruyama in September in a non-title bout. This rematch between Asakura and Horiguchi is very intriguing given what happened in their first fight. This is a bantamweight with a ton of KO power and if he catches Horiguchi on the chin again, then it could be goodnight once again. Having said that, I’m not ready to write off Horiguchi just yet. He was a stud in the UFC and in Bellator and I believe that training at American Top Team will give him the proper preparation to come back and beat Asakura.
- The vacant RFF women’s atomweight belt is on the line as Ayaka Hamasaki (20-3) takes on Miyuu Yamamoto (6-4). Hamasaki is a veteran of both RIZIN FF and Invicta FC and, even at age 38, she is fighting at a high level. Hamasaki is 6-1 over her last seven bouts, including a win over current UFC fighter Jinh Yu Frey. As for Yamamoto, she is 46 years old but despite starting her MMA career at age 42, she’s already racked up 10 fights with a 6-4 record to show for it. If you recognize her last name, yes, her brother was the late and great KID Yamamoto. It’s pretty amazing what both of these women are doing at their respective ages, but given Hamasaki’s vast experience fighting elite competition, I have to go with the chalk in this one.
- We also have a 150lbs catchweight bout between Mikuru Asakura (13-2) and Satoshi Yamasu (11-5). Asakura is the older brother of Kai Asakura, who fights in the main event. The older Asakura is coming off of a decision loss at RIZIN FF 25 last month that snapped an eight-fight win streak. As for Yamasu, he’s a DEEP veteran who recently saw an eight-fight win streak for himself snapped with a decision loss. Given that Asakura has fought and defeated far better competition I have to lean towards his way but the odds seem too high for this matchup.
- There are a number of other fights that do not have odds yet but that could change.