RIZIN held a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday and announced 4 additional fights.
TUF Japan / Road to UFC Japan veteran DJ taiki is going to face Hiroyuki Takaya.
Both of them are DREAM veterans. In addition, DJ also fought for K-1 in the past, and he held a DEEP bantamweight title for while. Takaya was a former DREAM featherweight champion too so these two are familiar names for not just MMA fans but also for the general TV viewers of Japan.
The current DEEP flyweight champion Yuki Motaya will take on a former Road FC flyweight champion Jo Nam-Jin from Korea. Motoya defended his DEEP belt last month by dominating Sota Kojima. Nobuyuki Sakakibara from RIZIN was at that show. After this fight Sakakibara stated, "I would like to give him a fight on New Year's Eve" and apparently he came through.
At the press conference, Motoya said, "My opponent is number one from Korea but I am gonna fight thinking I am the best at this weight class. In DEEP I have defeated those strong fighters that used to fight in PRIDE. I will explode on New Year's Eve and will win by KO."
The opponents of two star fighters from Shoot Boxing were also revealed.
Andy Souwer will make a MMA debut at 72 kg, which is 158 lbs, and his opponent is going to be a former K-1 fighter Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima.
So far, Nagashima did six pro MMA bouts but all of them were in year 2005 and 2006, therefore, its been little over 9 years since he last fought in a MMA bout. Nagashima faced Shinya Aoki on New Year's Eve 2010 in a mixed rules bout and KO'd Aoki with a knee shot in the second round, which was a kick boxing rules round.
The most popular fighter in Shoot Boxing, RENA, is also making a MMA debut.
Her opponent is going to be Jleana Valentino form Italy. Valentino is a team mate of K-1 MAX winner Giorgio Petrosyan and this is going to be her very first MMA bout as well.
RENA, at the press conference, told the reporters, "Since she is a striker I think this is going to be a striking battle. My goal is finish by a sensational KO like Mirko (Cro Cop) but I also want to surprise everyone, like, executing a jumping armbar, I am evolving as MMA fighter too. I've started to train with Ayaka Hamasaki at team AACC from beginning of October."
RIZIN FIGHTING WORLD GRAND-PRIX 2015
December 29th & December 31st
At Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
10 min / 1R 5 min / 2 & 3 R
Kazushi Sakuraba (Japan / Freelance) vs Shinya Aoki (Japan / Evolve MMA)
*contract weight will be announced on a later date.
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round Bouts
Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Fina & Final
29th or 31st (date of these fights will be determined later):
65 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2 & 3R
Hiroyuki Takaya (Japan / Takaya Gundan) vs DJ taiki (Japan / / Freelance)
56.7 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2 & 3R
Yuki Motoya (Japan / CM IMPACT) vs Jo Nam-Jin (Korea / TEAM MAD)
72 Kg / 158.7 lbs & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2 & 3R
Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima (Japan / Sakigake-juku) vs Andy Souwer (Holland / Team Souwer)
Woman's 51 kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Jleana Valentino (Italy / Team Leone Petrosyan)
Confirmed to Fight:
Emelianenko Fedor (Russia)
Gabi Garcia (Brazil)
Hoovelson Kaido (Estonia)
VVIP – 300,000 yen
VIP – 100, 000 yen
SRS – 30,000 yen
RS – 18,000 yen
S – 9,000 yen
A – 6,000 yen
*For 29th & 31st package prices:
VIP – 150,000 yen
SRS – 45,000 yen
RS – 28,000 yen
*ticket required from a one-year old.
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)