RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2016: 1st Round Fight Forecast

Fight Forecast is a recurring series at StrikeScoreMMA.com that provides a stats based preview of upcoming events. Since striking stats are not available outside the UFC, we need to get a bit creative. The following uses Fight Matrix rankings, peak rank, Tapology user votes, betting odds and Rankings Momentum.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 10/1/2014 to 7/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. Tapology scores are as of Sept. 24 at 2:45 p.m. ET. Betting odds are from 5Dimes as of Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Winners of the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships have gone 382-149-7 in MMA. Kron Gracie won the 2013 under 77 kg division and is 2-0 in MMA heading into this fight.

Hideo Tokoro is 1-0-1 against the Gracie family after competing against a pair of Kron’s uncles. Tokoro drew with Royce in 2005 and defeated Royler the following year.

As a 36-fight Shootboxing veteran, Andy Souwer is much better prepared for MMA than your average kickboxer. His last loss under Shootboxing rules came against former Bellator title challenger Toby Imada in 2010. They ran into each other in the semifinal of the 2010 S-Cup. Souwer was unprepared for Imada’s upper body throws and it cost him the match. He gave up seven takedowns and multiple “shoot points.” However, Souwer was prepared for the grappling game and basically shut Imada down en route to a dominant decision victory.

Despite having the ability to throw wild kicks, Daron Cruickshank still comes from a wrestling base. During his UFC career, he averaged 2.04 takedown attempts per 15 minutes.

Kizaemon Saiga is a kickboxer with a 2-1 MMA record. He is mostly known for having a celebrity wife who you can hear yelling from the front row. He struggled in his Rizin debut against Tokoro last winter.

Asen Yamamoto is back after falling to Gracie in his MMA debut on New Year’s Eve. He is the son of Miyu Yamamoto who is also fighting on this card and the nephew of Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. In 2013, he won a cadet world championship in Greco-Roman wrestling. His performance in the final was quite dramatic.

Minoru Kimura is a 23-year-old kickboxer from Brazil. He has yet to fight MMA, but he should easily pick up a victory here. He is 21-6-1 in kickboxing including a victory over K-1 posterboy Hiroya.

These days "Krazy Horse" is basically a jobber, but he did knockout K.J. Noons that one time, so he has that going for him, which is nice. It is pretty crazy to think he was a top-20 lightweight in 2002.

“Cro Cop” certainly seems to be nearing the end of his career, but he is riding a three-fight winning streak and has won nine-straight fights in Japan.

In his last fight, Hyun Man Myung was submitted by “Mighty Mo” with a schoolyard headlock. That is about all that needs to be said about him.

StrikeScore named Amir Aliakbari the tournament darkhorse.

Joao Almeida has won back-to-back fights for Jungle Fight and is 4-1 overall.

Karl Albrektsson will look to make it 2-0 against Russian opponents in Rizin. In his last bout, he scored a split-decision upset over Vadim Nemkov. The victory improved his professional record to 5-0.

Valentin Moldavsky is a combat sambo veteran with a 3-0 record. In his last bout, he scored a first-round submission victory over Daniel Doerrer on the undercard of Emelianenko vs. Maldonado.

After defeating veterans Satoshi Ishii and Vadim Nemkov, Jiri Prochazka found himself in the finals of the first Rizin tournament. In the final, he fell to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. However, the Czech fighter got back on track with a first-round knockout over Kazuyuki Fujita.

Mark Tanios is a 5-1 fighter who trains with Tristar Gym Lebanon. In his last fight, he was physically overwhelmed in the first round against Luc Ngeleka. However, Tanios was able to outlast his opponent and eventually take the decision.

Teodoras Aukstuolis has reached his highest ranking ever after defeating Jaideep Singh on the last Rizin show.

Since signing with KSW in 2014, Szymon Bajor has gone 2-1 in the promotion.

Kazuyuki Fujita is over 15 years removed from his peak ranking in 2001.

During his nine-year professional sumo career,  Baruto built a 431-213 record.

Fight Matrix groups all fighters above bantamweight into one category, which is how Gabi Garcia is listed at the #14 women’s featherweight. She weighed in for this bout at 245 pounds. 

Destanie Yarbrough is a former collegiate field athlete who specialized in shotput and discus. Since finishing her career, she has been playing football. Last April, she made her MMA debut with a knockout victory over Crystal Parson.

StrikeScore looked at Rena Kubota’s prospect in MMA prior to her debut last year.

Miyu Yamamoto recently competed at the 2016 Senior Canadian Championships, StrikeScore broke down the film.

Kanako Murata is a two-time junior world champion and has represented Japan at the women’s wrestling world cup. She is 3-0 in MMA after beginning her career last year.

Kanako Murata defeated Helen Marioulis in 2011 Junior World Final

The card’s highest ranked fighter is in the opening bout. Kyra Batara is the #7 atomweight. She has gone 3-0 for Combate Americas since joining the promotion last year.