Rizin Fighting Federation’s two-day NYE extravaganza kicks off on the 29th with the quarterfinals of the bantamweight tournament. Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: 2nd Round takes place December 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan with a PPV broadcast in Fite TV, iPPV through the promotion’s website.
Three of the bantamweight GP fights took place in July with Kyoji Horiguchi defeating Hideo Tokoro, Takafumi Otsuka defeating Anthony Birchak, and Khalid Taha defeating Keita Ishibashi. Three more GP fights took place in October as Shintaro Ishiwatari defeating Akhmed Musakaev, Kevin Petshi defeating Jae Hoon Moon, and Manel Kape defeating Erson Yamamoto. The last two slots were taken by Ian McCall and Gabriel Oliveira who both received “byes”, Birchak and Moon now square off in the reserve bout. The quarterfinals take place on the 29th while the semifinals and finals occur on New Year’s Eve.
Ian McCall “earned” a bye due to his record in the UFC, a 2-3-1 stretch of his 13-5-1 record. McCall is mainly known for his draw and loss against current UFC flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson in 2012 while his two wins in the UFC over Iliarde Santos and Brad Pickett were followed by a loss to John Lineker at UFC 183. McCall hasn’t fought since the loss to Lineker in January 2015. Manel Kape is 7-1 overall, 2-0 in the time McCall has been inactive. In April 2015 Kape defeated Francisco Javier Asprilla Martinez then was out of action until his Rizin debut in October where he defeated Yamamoto.
Kyoji Horiguchi is also a UFC vet with seven wins and one loss in the Octagon during his 20-2 record. After winning his first four UFC fights Horiguchi lost to Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight belt in April 2015. Since then Horiguchi picked up wins in the UFC over Chico Camus, Neil Seery, and Ali Bagautinov before joining Rizin where he defeated Yuki Motoya and Hideo Tokoro. Gabriel Oliveira enters this bout undefeated at 10-0. Oliveira’s Rizin debut took place in October where he defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri by TKO.
- Catchweight: Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Satoru Kitaoka
- W Flyweight: Shizuka Sugiyama vs. Kana Watanabe
- Flyweight: Kizaemon Saiga vs. Kai Asakura
- BW GP reserve bout: Anthony Birchak vs. Jae Hoon Moon
- FW: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Baataryn Azjavkhlan
- W LW: Reina Miura vs. Cindy Dandois
- LHW: Jiri Prochazka vs. Karl Albrektsson
- W Openweight: Gabrielle Garcia vs. Shinobu Kandori
- BW GP quarterfinals: Khalid Taha vs. Takafumi Otsuka
- BW GP quarterfinals: Kevin Petshi vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari
- BW GP quarterfinals: Ian McCall vs. Manel Kape
- BW GP quarterfinals: Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Gabriel Oliveira