RIZIN FF 1 Opening Betting Odds

Rizin 1Japanese MMA is truly back. We can tell, because despite this being the fourth card Rizin has promoted since beginning operations, Rizin FF 1 is here. Sometimes it’s best to just not ask questions, especially when it comes to Japan. Fighters from seven different countries will be represented on Rizin 1 — which will be taking place at 1am ET on Sunday — including Japanese legend Kazuyuki Fujita, UFC vet Daron Cruickshank, BJJ player Gabi Garcia, K-1 kickboxer Jaideep Singh, and a plethora of other fighters from odd backgrounds. The main event of the card features 45-year-old Fujita taking on the finalist from the Rizin New Year’s Eve grand prix, Jiri Prochazka. The co-main event is one of the two best fights on the card, as Bellator veteran Hisaki Kato takes on former DEEP welterweight champion Yuta Watanabe. The best fight on the card is in the flyweight division, as Japan’s top 125lber and reigning DEEP flyweight champion Yuki Motoya takes on Brazilian Allan Nascimento. Motoya holds victories over Masakazu Imanari and Yoshiro Maeda, while 24-year-old Nascimento is best known for his run in Legacy FC which concluded in an unsuccessful title bid. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the top seven bouts at Rizin FF 1 today at Several Bookmakers. Check them out below: ——————– MAIN CARD (Sunday, April 17 – 1am ET) Jiri Prochazka -1425 Kazuyuki Fujita +675 Hisaki Kato -210 Yuta Watanabe +160 Yuki Motoya -215 Allan Nascimento +165 Vadim Nemkov -230 Karl Albrektsson +170 Teodoras Aukstuolis -270 Jaideep Singh +190 Chris Barnett -210 Kirill Sidelnikov +160 Daron Cruickshank -565 Shinji Sasaki +375 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I wonder if Scott Coker will put Kazuyuji Fujita in a main event in Bellator if he wins. It shouldn’t be much of a worry anyway, since Fujita hasn’t won an MMA bout since 2008, and that was against a debuting Peter Graham. He hasn’t even fought since losing a decision to Satoshi Ishii at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013. I don’t think Jiri Prochazka is anything special, but I have to think he beats up on Fujita in this one. Maybe even with a loss Fujita can go over to Bellator and rematch Ken Shamrock. Can you say, “Petey, my heart”? Even though Hisaki Kato will be a fair bit bigger than Yuta Watanabe, his questionable striking defense makes this interesting. Neither guy has much interest in taking fights to the ground, so it should be a decently entertaining striking battle. I give Kato the power edge, but wouldn’t be willing to trust him with my money here. Yuki Motoya has gone about as far as he can in Japan, having beaten everyone there is to beat in the flyweight scene there. As unlikely as it may be, it would be nice to see him come over to the UFC with a win. He’s got a well-rounded game, but will struggle a bit with top wrestlers. Against most of the flyweight division he’ll put on fun, competitive fights though. The Rizin model seems to be taking guys who hit hard, but don’t do much else. That describes both Vadim Nemkov and Karl Albrektsson. Nemkov has the better wins on his resume, but his striking isn’t so much better than Albrektsson’s to make this much more than a coinflip. Also, there’s only one ‘King’ Karl in MMA, Mr. Albrektsson, and you don’t have the hair to compete with him. For shame. Even though Teodoras Aukstuolis fits the bill of “hits hard, but doesn’t do much else” he’s still got a massive ground advantage against Jaideep Singh. If this hits the ground Aukstuolis wins, if it doesn’t, Singh wins. I think it hits the ground because Singh simply doesn’t have the technique needed to defend takedowns at his height. Once upon a time, Chris Barnett seemed like an intriguing prospect at heavyweight. Now, he’s just intriguing. As wide as he is tall, Barnett is still a far better athlete than any 5’8″, 330lb man has a right to be. Apparently this fight with ‘Baby Fedor’ was contracted at 264lbs, so it will be interesting to see if he makes weight (I’m guessing not), but I don’t think it matters much. Sidelnikov gets “injured” whenever his opponents offer any resistance in fights, and Barnett isn’t exactly known for rolling over. As silly as it may look by the end of 15 minutes, I think Barnett wins. Daron Cruickshank is better than Shinji Sasaki, and while Sasaki has 10 submission wins in his career, only three are by rear-naked choke. Things are looking up for ‘The Detroit Superstar’ to become the Tokyo Superstar with some of the highlight reel knockouts that had people so excited about him to start his UFC run.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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