Eight confirmed for RIZIN lightweight grand prix
Yesterday, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced the eight participants for the RIZIN Fighting World GP 2019. Patricky Pitbull Freire (21-8), Johnny Case (26-6-1), Luiz Gustavo (9-1), Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-13-2), Tofiq Musaev (15-3), Roberto de Souza (9-0), Damien Brown (19-12) and Hiroto Uesako (16-7) have all been confirmed to fight at the event taking place on 12th October at the Edion Arena in Osaka.
The matchups for the opening rounds are yet to be determined, however a draw is scheduled next week, with fights announced in due course.
Elsewhere on the RIZIN FF 19 event, Light Heavyweight Champion Jiri Prochazka (24-3-1) will be making his first appearance after capturing the title after beating King Mo and will be taking on Brazilian striker Fabio Maldonado (25-13).
After the announcement, Prochazka said “I’m really happy for this opponent. It’s a real challenge for me. I saw him one time, when he fought with Fedor Emelianenko and he showed a very good and tough fight. He’s a different type of opponent than I’ve ever had, but this is the right challenge for me. I want to win without compromise and to show all Japanese fans that my strategy is on the next level. I’m looking forward to Japan and RIZIN!!”
His opponent in Osaka, Maldonado is equally pleased to be on the card stating “I am very happy to be able to fight in RIZIN. I am sure that the Japanese fans will love my style. Jiri is a very tough opponent and the perfect one for an epic battle”
UFC veteran Keita Nakamura (34-10-2) will be making his RIZIN debut against BJJ specialist Marcos Sauza (8-1), who is Satoshi’s big brother.
After a shocking loss at the Madison Square Garden in June, Rena Kubota (8-3) makes her return against Canadian striker Shawna Ram (1-0). With the support of a nation firmly on her side, Kubota aims to put the disappointment of defeat in her last fight behind her “I am sorry to have disappointed you all in New York. I hit rock bottom, but I am now back on track and ready to start climbing the ladder once again. I am nothing but grateful that RIZIN gave me an offer in my hometown Osaka, so I would like to show my hometown fans an exciting finish.”