RIZIN 45 + MMA 2023 Recap! Happy New Year!

One amazing year of mixed martial arts is behind us. There were many great fights and events, and it’s time to look back at the best moments of 2023.

Best Fights Of 2023

The title of the best male battle goes to – the first fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev, which took part at UFC 284, on February 11, 2023, was one of the most technical battles the world has ever seen. After superb scrambles and a technical five-round war, Islam Makhachev scored a decision win over a dangerous Aussie.

Yet, this battle was followed by a great controversy. The two took part in a very close war, and Volkanovski dropped Makhachev with a powerful fist to the face, judges somehow scored the unanimous decision victory for a Dagestani fighter. Yes, Makhachev controlled Volk’s back for three rounds, but it should’ve at least been a draw, as a knockdown round is mostly scored 10-8 according to the UFC’s rulebook.

It was pretty difficult to choose the greatest female fight, but I decided to choose Irene Aldana vs Karol Rosa, which took place at UFC 296. Yes, it was a preliminary card battle, but the two traded big bombs for 15 minutes. After a vicious bloodbath, both fighters ended the match with tons of injuries, but judges gave a unanimous decision nod to the Mexican cat lover thanks to the greater amount of damage and clean strikes.

Best UFC Event Of 2023

The title goes to the UFC 285, where Jon Jones submitted Ciryl Gane in the first round. The co-main was also amazing, but we’ve seen potentially the greatest upset of 2023, as Alexa Grasso punished Shevchenko’s spinning back kick miss with a rear-naked choke submission.

There were many great knockouts, but even bouts that went the distance were slugfests. For example, Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner showed some great scrambling and striking skills, and the match was very even, but the judges gave a split decision to the Polish BJJ black belt.


I know you got used to breaks, but MMA never sleeps. Yes, there is a four-week UFC break, but the Far East is a different story. RIZIN always makes New Year’s Eve fight cards.

In the main event of the evening, legendary former UFC title contender and Bellator fighter Kyoji Horiguchi will square off against very talented grappler Makoto Shinryu. Kyoji has better all-around skills, and Kyoji’s never-ending cardio should be a big advantage, especially in the later stages of their three-round battle. This is a flyweight title combat.

Prediction: Kyoji to win

The co-main event of the evening brings a bantamweight match between Juan Archuleta and Kai Asakura. Kai is known for excellent combinations and defense, while Archuleta’s Bellator experience might give him an advantage in close-range exchanges. Yet, the fight takes place in a squared ring, so don’t be surprised if the Japanese fighter surprises him.

Here are my RIZIN 45 full-fight card predictions.

FitnessFighters wishes you a Happy New Year, and we can’t wait for January 13th and the rematch between Johnny Walker and Magomed Ankalaev.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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