Here's that knee-KO that continued Tatsuya Kawajiri's career tailspin

Dann StuppToday at Rizin FF 7, MMA vet Tatsuya Kawajiri had a chance to build some momentum. Instead, it left him with a bruised noggin and another loss.

In a wild card qualifying match for Rizin FF’s bantamweight grand prix opening round, Gabriel Oliveira (10-0) blasted Kawajiri (36-12-2) with a stiff knee that forced a second-round knockout stoppage.

The blow caught Kawajiri flush, and the ref quickly and mercifully halted the bout a second after it landed (via Twitter):

Kawajiri, a 39-year-old Japanese fighter who’s competed with organizations such as PRIDE and the UFC and World Victory Road/Sengoku and DREAM and Strikeforce, spent most of his career at lightweight before a move down to featherweight in 2011. He then made he big cut to bantamweight for Rizin FF 7.

The gamble, though, didn’t pay off like he hoped.

A fight prior, Kawajiri halted a three-fight skid with a decision victory over Anthony Birchak at Rizin FF 5. But with today’s loss, he’s now in a 1-4 skid.

For more on Rizin FF 7, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tatsuya Kawajiri joins Rizin FF 7, looking for bantamweight grand-prix spot

Tatsuya Kawajiri is taking a step toward fighting at bantamweight.

The 39-year-old Japanese vet, who’s fought at lightweight and featherweight for organizations rankings from the UFC to PRIDE to Strikeforce since his 2000 pro debut, is looking for a spot in the bantamweight grand prix when he fights at Rizin FF 7.

Rizin FF 7 takes place Oct. 15 at Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan. North American broadcast plans haven’t been announced.

Kawajiri (36-11-2) fights Gabriel Oliveira (9-0) at a catchweight of 138.9 pounds, officials recently announced.

According to a press release, Kawajiri sent Rizin FF General Manager Nobuhiko Takad a picture of him standing on a scale at 138 pounds, which prompted the booking of the vet for a wild-card qualification bout.

“The only reason why I am doing this is because I want (Kyoji Horiguchi),” Kawajiri stated. “If he wasn’t in this tournament, I would never go through all of this pain to just make weight. I want to put everything I have, everything I have worked for, in this tournament to fight the icon of Japan’s young, promising generation.”

Kawajiri recently halted a three-fight skid, which included UFC losses to standouts Cub Swanson and Dennis Bermudez, with a unanimous-decision win over Anthony Birchak at Rizin FF 5. Oliveira, a 27-year-old promotional newcomer, is a veteran of the South American fight circuit, where he holds two regional titles, and has four knockouts in nine career wins.

The latest Rizin FF 7 card includes:

For more on Rizin FF 7, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie