RIZIN 2017 IN YOKOHAMA – 04/16/2017: Its All About Rena?

So far, it seems like the majority of PR towards the next RIZIN event at Yokohama Arena were done with RENA.

Since beginning of the year, RENA has made few appearances in the Japanese TV variety shows. She also did the media work out soon after confirming the next opponent. Needless to say, RENA attended all RIZIN press conference this year. And, on Monday, RENA became the “supporting ambassador of women’s crime prevention” at Kanagaga Prefectural Police.

These are all very good marketing for RIZIN and the sport of MMA in Japan.

RENA (right)

This, however, also tells that even with a return of Kyoji Horiguchi, RIZIN still have to heavily rely on RENA in terms of PR in Japan. Sure, Horiguchi’s training base is in ATT at Florida and that makes bit difficult for him to do what RENA is doing in Japan.

But when you look at the entire card of the next RIZIN event, besides RENA, who else can be considered as “recognizable figures” in the Japan’s regular household?
Maybe Satoshi Ishii because of his Olympic glory but even he maybe already “past the expiration date” for the TV viewers in Japan.

RENA (middle)

At the media work out held at the Cesar Gym in Tokyo last week, this is what RENA said about her being on the center of next RIZIN poster, “I am 26 year old now so I think a close-up is starting to get bit difficult. I am happy but at the same time, I do feel apologetic to the other fighters too. I would like to answer to those expectation though, by producing good result in the fight.”

Her upcoming opponent, Dora Perjes, is 7-1 with 7 submission wins. But a Hungarian hasn’t fought since March 2015, and all of her seven wins were against fighter with more losses than wins on their record.

Sunday, April 16th, 2017
At Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

Men’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Kyoji Horiguchi (Japan / ATT) vs Yuki Motoya (Japan / CB IMPACT)

Women’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 5 mim / 3R
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Dora Perjes (Hungary / Bardosi Martial Arts Acade)

Men’s Featherweight (65.8 kg) But 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD) vs Anthony Birchak (10th Planet Tucson)

Men’s Flyweight (56.7 kg) Bout 3 min / 3R
Teshin Nasukawa (Japan / Team Tenshin) vs Francesco Ghigliotti (Italy / Sempre Avanti)

120 kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Satoshi Ishii (Japan / Independent) vs Heath Herring (USA / Las Vegas Combat Club)

Men’s Lightweight (79.3 Kg) Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Yusuke Yachi (Japan / KRAZY BEE) vs Daron Cruickshank (USA / Michigan Top Team)

Women’s 90 Kg & Under bout 5 min / 3R
KING Reina (Japan / Reversal Gym Tachikawa ALPHA) vs Jazzy Gabert (Germany / Independent)

Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Kanna Asakura (Japan / Paraestra Matsudo) vs Alesander Tochevea (Bulgaria / Desant MMA & astos BJJ Varna)

Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Saori Ishioka (Japan / Zendo-kai) vs Bestare Kicaj (Switzerland / 360 Martial Arts)

Men’s 58 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 5R
Kizaemon Saiga (Japan / Me, We) vs Seiichiro Ito (Japan / Reversal Gym Yokohama Ground Slam)


report by Shu Hirata
photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)