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02nd Jan 2017

Probably the weirdest fight of 2016 came late, ended early and was pretty difficult to watch

What in the world?

Darragh Murphy

Things are *very* different in Japan.

Japanese MMA will always be regarded as slightly more lawless than its American sibling, with most fight fans well aware of the infamously lax drug-testing policies of Pride back in the day.

We don’t see all that many high-profile mixed martial arts events in the Land of the Rising Sun nowadays but the intriguing Rizin Fighting Federation is aiming to remedy that.

A number of Rizin FF events have already taken place in Japan and the promotion’s modus operandi is infinitely different to the practices of the world’s preeminent organisation, the UFC.

Rizin FF tends to mix up legitimately competitive MMA contests with fascinating circus fights in a bid to interest as many fight fans as possible.

We saw one such bout last weekend, when the 6 ft 2 in, 200 lbs+ BJJ black belt Gabi Garcia welcomed Japanese professional wrestler Yumiko Hotta to the Rizin ring.

Hotta, who turns 50 next week, was always going to be up against it opposite the woman who may well be the most physically imposing female in the sport.

Garcia recently lost a significant amount of weight but remains a huge fighter and she had no time for the antics of Hotta, who seemed more concerned with entertaining the fans in the Saitama Super Arena on Saturday.

Hotta bounced off the ropes, rather than engage with the mammoth Garcia, but it didn’t last long as the Brazilian grabbed a hold of the 49-year-old and began hammering away.

The fight lasted 41 seconds in total and Garcia moved to 4-0, although that last one should probably have a big ol’ asterisk beside the result because, with all due respect to her, Hotta never belonged in that ring.

Let’s be real here.