Two more fights added to RIZIN FF 19 card
RIZIN earlier announced two additional fights to the card for RIZIN 19 which takes place on Saturday October 12th at the Edion Arena in Osaka.
Kai Asakura (13-1), who recently shocked the MMA world by knocking out RIZIN and Bellator two promotional champion, Kyoji Horiguchi, will take on former UFC veteran and crafty grappler Ulka Sasaki (22-7). The two were scheduled to fight each other in April but was scrapped due to Ulka’s medical conditions. Ulka went on and faced Shintaro Ishiwatari in July and lost due to a North-south choke while Asakura took on Horiguchi and won via knockout.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara explained “This card has been very tough to put together since Horiguchi is still under suspension and Tenshin injured his hand. Mikuru Asakura not being able to fight on this card due to injury also didn’t help us either. So, I asked Kai Asakura to see if he could step up in an emergency situation and headline the October event, and he accepted.”
After the announcement, Asakura followed by saying “My plan was to focus on the NYE event against Horiguchi for the RIZIN title but Sakakibara told me about the situation on the card and asked me to save the event, and I believe with the given situation I am the only one that can save this card. It is actually a great opportunity for me to rise up to the occasion and become the leader of RIZIN. I’m always ready and I always put on a great fight so I will be ready. I’m confident that I can beat him, so this is the reason why I took the fight. He’s a great grappler, but that’s it, and he won’t be able to grapple with me.”
Sasaki is looking forward to putting the disappointment of the previous scheduled bout behind him by saying “I will make it up for what was supposed to happen in April, and I will come in to win this fight whatever it takes. This fight will be a spectacular fight, so everybody please stay tuned. I will see you all on October 12th in Osaka.”
Next month’s event will also have local kickboxing stars Shoot Boxing Ace Seiki Ueyama (22-11) and DEEP Kick staple Taisei Umei (7-6) fighting under kickboxing rules.
RIZIN’s first show in Osaka will also feature the opening round of the Lightweight GP, RIZIN Light heavyweight Champion Jiri Prochazka (24-3-1) vs Fabio Maldonado (25-13), Super Atomweight number one contender fight Seo Hee Ham (21-8) vs Miyuu Yamamoto (5-3), the return of RENA (8-3) and Marcos de Souza (8-1) and Keita Nakamura’s (34-10-2) promotional debut.
Confirmed fights for RIZIN 19
Kai Asakura vs Ulka Sasaki
Jiri Prochazka vs Fabio Maldonado
Seo Hee Ham vs Miyuu Yamamoto
Marcos de Souza vs Keita Nakamura
Rena Kubota vs Shawna Ram
Lightweight GP first round
Tofiq Musaev vs Damien Brown
Johnny Case vs Roberto de Souza
Patricky Freire vs Tatsuya Kawajiri
Luiz Gustavo vs Hiroto Uesako
Seiki Ueyama vs Taisei Umei