Shinya Kumazawa made an incredibly unusual choice in his fight at RIZIN 32 when he decided to turn up for an MMA fight with Tanner Lourenco wearing a modified version of a gi. The sleeves of the gi jacket and legs of the trousers were both cut to half the length, reaching a little higher than his elbows and knees, but he still wore his black belt and use of the uniform was allowed in the match. It marked something of a return to tradition, as Royce Gracie famously won several of his early UFC fights wearing a gi and even used it to his advantage on the odd occasion. For Kumazawa however, it turned out to be a very bad decision as his unique choice of attire was actually used against him by Lourenco in the end.
Kumazawa is a forty year-old combat sports veteran and RIZIN 32 marked his twentieth professional MMA fight, while Lourenco on the other hand was actually making his debut. With a 9-10 professional record prior to the fight, Kumazawa wasn’t actually the favorite to emerge victorious and his choice of combat sports attire raised more than a few eyebrows as he made his way to the ring. In most modern MMA promotions, the wearing of a gi actually isn’t allowed due to the fact that it presents an inherent imbalance in opportunities between the two fighters.
While Kumazawa was probably confident that the imbalance would be tipping in his favor, in the end Lourenco used the gi against him after taking his back by securing a tight bow and arrow choke to force the tap. The full MMA fight between Shinya Kumazawa and Tanner Lourenco where the former decided to compete wearing a gi was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Rizin Fighting Federation and can be seen below:
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