Two Kickboxing Bouts Added To RIZIN 20

Two kickboxing bouts were announced for RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event RIZIN 20, including TEPPEN gym names Tenshin Nasukawa and Taiju Shiratori.

RIZIN and RISE Kickboxing’s ace Tenshin Nawsukawa will face Rui Ebata. Ebata is 42-3-3 in kickboxing, currently riding a 11-fight winning streak that dates back to 2016. The fight was announced as a 56 kg “Special Rules” kickboxing fight via Twitter on Thursday afternoon (Japan time).

Nasukawa is 35-0 in kickboxing, winning five times in 2019. He recently won the 58kg Rise World Series kickboxing tournament.

RIZIN 20 will see a kickboxing rematch between Taiju Shiratori and Taiga, who recently matched up against each other at RIZIN 19. A third round overhand right from Taiga scored a knockdown, making the fight much closer than it was before.

Former K-1 kickboxer Taiga holds a professional record of 21-10-1, with a 1-2-1 record in RIZIN. Shiratori has been undefeated with three wins in RIZIN, holding a 18-5-1 record altogether.

RIZIN 20 will take place at 1 AM EST on December 31st live from Saitama Super Arena.

Here’s the full card for RIZIN 20 as of right now:

  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2) vs. Seo Hee Ham (22-8) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Championship)
  2. Kai Asakura (14-1) vs. Manel Kape (14-4) (RIZIN Vacant Bantamweight Championship)
  3. Jiri Prochazka (25-3-1) vs. C.B. Dollaway (17-9) (RIZIN Light Heavyweight Championship)
  4. RIZIN Lightweight GP Grand Final
  5. Johnny Case (27-6-1) vs. Tofiq Musaev (16-3) (RIZIN Lightweight GP Semi-Final)
  6. Patricky Pitbull (22-8) vs. Luiz Gustavo (10-1) (RIZIN Lightweight GP Semi-Final)
  7. Tenshin Nasukawa (35-0) vs. Rui Ebata (41-2-3) (123 lbs Kickboxing Special Rules)
  8. Taiju Shiratori (18-5-1) vs. Taiga (21-10-1) (136 lbs Kickboxing)
  9. Yuki Motoya (23-7) vs. Patrick Mix (12-0) (135 lbs)
  10. Mikuru Asakura (11-1) vs. John Teixeira (146 lbs)
  11. Lindsey VanZandt (7-2) vs. RENA (9-3) (112 lbs)
  12. Vitaly Shemetov (23-10) vs. Simon Biyong (6-1) (205 lbs)
  13. Jake Heun (14-9) vs. Satoshi Ishii (22-10-1) (231 lbs)
  14. Shintaro Ishiwatari (26-7-4) vs. Hiromasa Ogikubo (19-4-2) (134 lbs)


Three More Fights Added To Bellator Japan

Three more fights have been added to Bellator’s December 29th event which is co-promoted with RIZIN.

RIZIN’s super atomweight fighter Kanna Asakura return to face Jayme Hinshaw. The American fighter has picked up a 4-3 record fighting in King of the Cage. She will be coming back from a 17-month layoff, last fighting in the summer of 2018. Asakura bounced back from a loss to Miyuu Yamamoto in August, defeating Alesha Zappitella via split decision at RIZIN 18.

The sole kickboxing bout on the card will see former K-1 kickboxer Ren Hiramoto return to face Takahiro Ashida. Hiramoto fought for four years as a pro in K-1, recently being absent from kickboxing for a year. With a background in judo, Ashida has a 23-10-2 record in MMA. He has mostly fought in the regional promotion DEEP Impact, with appearances in other promotions as well.

Also added to the card was a heavyweight matchup between Sergey Shemetov and Shoma Shibisai. Shemetov has never fought in RIZIN or Bellator, but his brother Vitaly Shemetov has. Shibisai made his return to RIZIN at RIZIN 19, defeating Chang Hee Kim in just over a minute.

Here is the full Bellator Japan card as of right now:

  1. Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Rampage Jackson (38-13) (Heavyweight)
  2. Benson Henderson (28-8) vs. Michael Chandler (19-5) (Lightweight)
  3. Lorenz Larkin (21-7) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2) (Welterweight)
  4. Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) (Flyweight)
  5. Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. Daron Cruickshank (22-12) (Lightweight)
  6. Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. AI (5-1) (Strawweight)
  7. Ren Hiramoto vs. Takahiro Ashida (68 kg Kickboxing)
  8. Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5) (Lightweight)
  9. Jarred Brooks (15-2) vs. Haruo Ochio (19-7-2) (Strawweight)
  10. Hiroto Uesako (16-8) vs. Yusuke Yachi (20-9) (Lightweight)

C.B. Dollaway To Challenge For Jiri Prochazka’s Light Heavyweight Title In RIZIN Debut

Former UFC fighter C.B. Dollaway will move to Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN for his next fight, challenging Jiri Prochazka for the promotion’s Light Heavyweight Championship at RIZIN 20.

The fight will take place on New Year’s Eve at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It will be one of the three championship bouts on the card.

Dollaway won season seven of the UFC’s TV series The Ultimate Fighter. He fought in the promotion for a decade, getting a record of 11-9 before his departure.

Jiri Prochazka has attained a record of 9-1 since joining RIZIN in 2015, avenging his singular loss earlier this year against King Mo, winning his championship in the process.

Prochazka has yet to defend his belt since winning it in April.

Two Bellator vs. RIZIN Fights Announced For RIZIN 20

Two Bellator versus RIZIN matchups were announced for RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show on Thursday at a press conference. The announcement was one of the many at the event, including fights on the Bellator Japan card and Kyoji Horiguchi’s injury.

RIZIN’s Yuki Motoya will face Patrick Mix on the RIZIN 20 card in a bantamweight fight. Motoya recently lost to Hiromasa Ogiukubo at RIZIN 17 via decision. Mix is undefeated as a pro and has fought twice in Bellator since debuting earlier this year. Mix’s last seven wins have come via stoppage.

Also added to RIZIN 20 was Mikuru Asakura versus John Macapa. Asakura is currently on a six-fight tear, recently defeating Yusuke Yachi at RIZIN 17. Macapa snapped a 2018 three-fight losing streak earlier this year, defeating Kevin Croom then defeating Ashleigh Grimshaw two months ago.

Here’s how RIZIN 20 looks so far:

  1. Lightweight Grand Prix Grand Final
  2. Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2) vs. Seo Hee Ham (22-8)
  3. Johnny Case (27-6-1) vs. Tofiq Musaev (16-3) (Lightweight GP Semi-Final)
  4. Patricky Pitbull (22-8) vs. Luiz Gustavo (10-1) (Lightweight GP Semi-Final)
  5. Yuki Motoya (23-7) vs. Patrick Mix (12-0)
  6. Mikuru Asakura (11-1) vs. John Macapa (23-4-2)


Kyoji Horiguchi Out of RIZIN 20 Matchup Against Kai Asakura

Kyoji Horiguchi has been pulled from his New Year’s Eve fight against Kai Asakura due to injury, per a press conference on Thursday. It was reported that Horiguchi tore his ACL.

RIZIN says they will announce another main event soon.

Photos surfaced earlier in the week of Kyoji Horiguchi in a wheelchair with a bandage on his right knee.

The fight was set to be a rematch between the two after Asakura earned a first round stoppage win in a non-championship affair.

Bellator Versus RIZIN Bouts Added To Bellator Japan

Bellator Japan saw many new fights added to it’s card after a press conference in Japan on Thursday. The matchups include many Bellator versus RIZIN bouts.

The biggest RIZIN versus Bellator fight announced was Lorenz Larkin facing Keita Nakamura. “K-Taro” made his RIZIN debut last month, making quick work of Marcos Yoshio de Souza. Larkin recently went three rounds with Andrey Koreshkov, winning on the scorecards. He is on a three-fight winning streak.

Returning to a RIZIN promoted event, Daron Cruickshank will face Bellator’s Goiti Yamauchi. Cruickshank will attempt to snap a two-fight losing streak, dropping to Damien Brown and Tofiq Musaev in previous RIZIN events. Yamauchi is on a two-fight winning streak, recently defeating Saad Awad at Bellator 229.

The final Bellator versus RIZIN matchup announced was undefeated flyweight Kana Watanabe versus Ilara Joanne. Joanne made her Bellator debut last month, defeating Bec Rawlings via kneebar. Watanabe has a 8-0-1 record, with many fights in RIZIN and DEEP JEWELS.


Benson Henderson vs. Michael Chandler 2 Added to Bellator Japan

A rematch between Benson Henderson and Michael Chandler was announced to be the co-main event of Bellator Japan, which takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on December 29th.

Henderson and Chandler first met in 2016 at Bellator 165. Chandler prevailed that evening, getting a split decision win after five rounds of competition.

Chandler recently dropped the Bellator Lightweight Championship to Patricio Pitbull, getting finished in just over a minute. The loss ended his thrid reign as the promotion’s 155 pound champ.

Henderson is currently on a four-fight winning streak, picking up a win most recently against Myles Jury in September.

The main event of Bellator Japan is set to be Fedor Emelianenko versus Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The event will be co-promoted with Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN Fighting Federation.

RIZIN 17 Live Coverage

Just as UFC 240 ended, over at Saitama Super Arena RIZIN 17 was kicking off. The large card featured three fights at the top of the card that aim to have Japan’s biggest fighters going up against each other. In the main event was Mikuru Asakura versus Yusuke Yachi. Let’s go through the debut card from RIZIN’s 2019 debut at Saitama Super Arena.

Bout 1: Daiki Watabe (22-23-2) vs. Hideki (15-5-2) (Kickboxing Rules) (148 lbs)

After the promotion’s usual epic intro, we had our first bout. The first bout of the evening was a kickboxing contest Daiki Watabe and Hideki. It was both fighter’s debuts within the promotion. This time around there is no banners hung up of RIZIN’s partnered promotions. Watabe comes from Tenshin Nasukawa’s gym TEAM TEPPEN. As a matter of fact, Tenshin was in his corner for this fight. After a few minutes of close fighting, Hideki let his hands go and landed enough to give Watabe a standing 10 count. After that, Hideki continued to pepper on punches, but Watabe survived the round. The second round was closer, with Watabe landing lots of low kicks. Hideki did have a good opening, where he backed Watabe into a corner and teed off. It felt like Hideki glided through this round, just defending what Watabe threw. Hideki showboated throughout the bout. It went the distance with the fight going to Hideki via majority decision.

Bout 2: KING Reina (11-2) vs. Stephanie Egger (3-1) (MMA Rules) (139 lbs)

In the next bout we had KING Reina versus Stephanie Egger. Reina had a very epic entrance, keeping a real serious face. Early on it was Egger who threw Reina on the ground and took her back. Reina got up and avoided a rear naked choke. Egger landed a trip takedown in the second round. Egger tried for the rear naked choke again but couldn’t get it fully in. In stand-up, Egger had a significant height and reach advantage. In the third round, Egger tried for a rear anked choke for the third time. She escaped once again, with both fighters going to their feet for the final minute. Reina started coming forward aggressively with punches, but Egger stopped it by clinching up. The crowd started chanting Reina’s name. The fight went the distance, with Reina dropping to the ground as the fight ended. All three judges gave the fight to Stephanie Egger.

Bout 3: Seo Hee Ham (20-8) vs. Tomo Maesawa (12-9) (MMA Rules) (108 lbs)

In the next bout, we had a champion versus champion bout, with DEEP Jewels champion Tomo Maesawa facing Road FC Champion Seo Hee Ham. It was made clear at RIZIN 16 that Seo Hee Ham wants to face Ayake Hamasaki later on. They had close striking for a few minutes. Maesawa was dropped by knees to the body then Hamderlei capitalized by landing knees while Maesawa was down in the corner. Referee Jason Herzog stepped in and ended the bout. She called out Miyuu Yamamoto after the bout, saying she wants that fight before a title shot. Yamamoto entered the ring and accepted the challenge and did a face off.

Bout 4: Jake Heun (13-9) vs. Vitaly Shemetov (23-9) (MMA Rules) (205 lbs)

In the next bout, viral sensation Vitaly Shemetov faced Jake Heun. Sadly I can’t tell you why, but the song that Shemetov walked out to got a big pop. Also, Shemetov himself got a pretty loud reaction for when he walked out. Coming out in all white, Heun did a creative walkout dancing to “Stayin Alive” by Bee Gees. Someone delivered flowers to each fighter before the bout and got a huge crowd pop. As the referee was giving instructions, Shemetov gave a heart to the camera. So, safe to say he looked comfortable. Early on it was obvious that both of these guys were throwing some real power. Heun went for a takedown halfway through the first round. Shemetov got up after getting hit with some elbows on the ground. Shemetov got a takedown with a minute left, but Heun quickly took control. In the second round there was a pause when Shemetov was hit in the groin. Heun had a great string of strikes in the corner but it was interrupted by yet another hit to the groin. Shemetov was on the ground for quite some time this time. He eventually was able to continue. Heun was given a yellow card. Heun landed a slam, taking the fight to the ground. Heun attempted a hammerlock but couldn’t get it. He landed punches as the second round concluded. Early in the third round Shemetov had a good combination of punches. Going back to where he was finding success, Heun landed yet another takedown. Shemetov was cut open badly with a cut on the ground from an elbow, ending the fight abruptly.

Bout 5: Roberto Satoshi Souza (8-0) vs. Mizuto Hirota (18-10-2) (MMA Rules) (157 lbs)

The next contest had undefeated BJJ fighter Roberto Satoshi Souza face JMMA veteran Mizuto Hirota. Souza got a vicious takedown in the first minute of the bout. From top position, Souza landed strikes to the side of the head. They stood up after a few minutes on the ground. Souza tried another takedown but it was blocked. Souza landed an overhead right which rocked Hirota. He did another which dropped him, and then landed a few more strikes to close out the fight.

Bout 6: Tatsuya Kawajiri (36-13-2) vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov (7-0) (157 lbs)

Undefeated fighter Ali Abdulkhalikov challenged experienced fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri. Seconds into the bout Kawajiri missed a takedown and was hit with a hook to the head because of it. Abdulkhalikov’s strikes were looking fast. Kawajiri ducked a spinning backfist and tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. Abdulkhalikov reversed a takedown then went back to the feet. Kawajiri caught a leg and brought Abdulkhalikov to his knees, but never fully secured the takedown. Upon another attempt, Kawajiri finally got a takedown. Kawajiri tried for a kimura but couldn’t as the round concluded. In the second round, Kawajiri tried for the kimura once again. He tried for a guillotine as well, but Abdulkhalikov’s head popped out. Kawajiri tried for the kimura a third time in the final round. He couldn’t get it, but transitioned into top position and tried for a choke. Kawajiri did elbows and punches until the fight ran out of time. All three judges gave the bout to Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Bout 7: Satoru Kitaoka (42-19-9) vs. Johnny Case (25-6-1) (MMA Rules) (157 lbs)

It wasn’t shown on the English broadcast, but the mayor of Saitama spoke in the ring before the next bout. The final bout before intermission was Satoru Kitaoka versus Johnny Case. Like many 157 pound bouts tonight, winners will have a chance at being in RIZIN’s Lightweight GP. Kitaoka tried for a takedown in the first minute and was given elbows to the head for his troubles. He refused to let go of Case’s leg, but kept getting hit. Case got a trip takedown. Kitaoka tried to a leg lock. Case escaped and started to rain down strikes. Kawajiri survived the first round. Kawajiri had to be carried by his team to the corner, and was laying on the ground before they got there. In-between rounds, Kitaoka’s corner surrendered the bout. Kitaoka was carried away on a gurney. Case told the crowd to say a prayer for Kitaoka.

Bout 8: Hikaru Machida (35-17-3) vs. Taiga (19-9-1) (Kickboxing Rules) (137 lbs)

Coming back from intermission, RIZIN had their second and final kickboxing bout of the evening. Shoot Boxing fighter Hikaru Machida fought Taiga. Machida is known for making the motion of pulling out a sword before throwing his sunday punches. He made the motion once in the first round but didn’t land a punch. Both fighters had their moments in the first round. Throughout the fight it was Machida that was advancing. Taiga had a good flurry at the end of the second round.  Taiga landed a takedown in the final seconds of the bout, securing his victory. All three judges gave the fight to Taiga.

Bout 9: Ivan Shtyrkov (16-0-1) vs. Hoon Kim (10-15-2) (MMA Rules) (205 lbs)

In the second light heavyweight bout of the evening, Ivan Shtyrkov battled Hoon Kim. The difference in records between the two is quite drastic. They clinched early in the bout, but the referee separated them eventually. The fight went to the ground with Shtyrkov in top position. A standing clinch was broken yet again in the second round. Shtyrkov landed a takedown and landed very short strikes. He landed enough punches that the referee eventually stepped in and ended the bout. The crowd didn’t seem to interested in the bout by that point.

Bout 10: Yuki Motoya (23-6) vs. Hiromasa Ogikubo (18-4-2) (MMA Rules) (134 lbs)

Before the next bout a promo aired for RIZIN 18, which will take place on August 18th. Kyoji Horiguchi was introduced. He had his RIZIN and Bellator belts with him. He talked about his bout with Kai Asakura which will happen at the next event. The next match was the first of three Japan versus Japan matchups. Also, it was a Shooto versus DEEP matchup, with Motoya representing Shooto and Ogikubo representing DEEP. Ogikubo landed a takedown in the first minute of the contest. Motoya tried to counter with a guillotine, although he let go of it eventually. They got back up after Ogikubo tried for a rear naked choke. He landed another takedown. Ogikubo landed more takedowns in the second. There was more stand-up in the second round compared to the first. The final round had a crazy fist fight from both fighters. It was ended when Ogikubo scored a takedown. They stood back up shortly after and continued their chaotic exchange. Motoya was connecting with the better punches. Ogikubo landed another takedown after looking like he was in trouble on the feet. Ogikubo tried for a headlock as the fight ended. While Ogikubo was good on the ground throughout, Motoya’s campaign in the third round was very effective. The judges had it as a split decision, with Hiromasa Ogikubo winning it.

Bout 11: Shintaro Ishiwatari (25-7-4) vs. Ulka Sasaki (22-6-2) (MMA Rules) (134 lbs)

The co-main event was Shintaro Ishiwatari versus Ulka Sasaki. Sasaki had quite a grand entrance, conducting numerous people before walking down to the ring in a cape. Aljamain Sterling cornered Sasaki for this bout. Sasaki tried for a flying knee the second the fight started. He did not land it. They clinched up against the ropes in the second minute, with the referee eventually growing impatient and breaking them up. When they went to the ground later in the round there was a collision of heads. Ishiwatari had top position on the ground. Sasaki did a good job at getting top position before the round concluded. In the first minute of the second round, Sasaki tried for a takedown. Both fighters early got out of the ring during the attempt. Ishiwatari landed a takedown after trying to stop one from Sasaki for a minute or so. Near the end of the second round, Sasaki was dropped by Ishiwatari. He landed knees to the head and then put in a north south choke which made Sasaki tap out.

Bout 12: Yusuke Yachi (20-8) vs. Mikuru Asakura (10-1) (MMA Rules) (154 lbs)

Finally, the main event of the evening was Yusuke Yachi facing Mikuru Asakura in a complete grudge match. In the first minute Yachi was dropped with a kick, although it could have been also considered a slip as he threw a kick at the same time. Asakura was throwing strong punches in the first round. At the start of the second round Yachi tried for a takedown but was blocked. Later on, Yachi had a better look at a takedown but Asakura avoided it with help from the ropes. Throughout the second, Asakura was warned for holding onto the ropes to resist takedowns. Even in the third round Yachi continued to struggle with his takedown attempts. Crowd got louder when the two minute announcement was said. Asakura scored a takedown with two minutes left. They stood back up with a minute left and started to swing. Asakura egged on Yachi to continue as the fight entered final 10 seconds. Asakura dropped Yachi and didn’t go to finish but instead showed off as the bell rang. All three judges gave Mikuru Asakura the nod.