The headliner is going to be a featherweight bout between Tatsuya “The Crusher” Kawajiri and Anthony Birchak.
This came as a bit of surprise to some because RIZIN has been doing almost all promotions around RENA recently. She is also in a smack middle of the event poster as well.
In addition, UFC veteran Kyoji Horiguchi will be making RIZIN debut, and also, the Olympic gold medal winning judo-ka turned MMA fighter Satoshi Ishii is in the card too.
But RIZIN went with The Crusher.
Partly because he is more recognizable than RENA or Horiguchi in the Japan’s general household. This show will be televised live by Fuji TV so RIZIN has to be thinking ratings.
By the way, this maybe the last time Kawajiri gets to fight in the headliner of the major Japanese MMA show.
Maybe this is a gesture from RIZIN head Nobuyuki Sakakibara to praise Kawajiri for all these achievements t the Japanese MMA.
RIZIN 2017 IN YOKOHAMA – SAKURA –
Sunday, April 16th, 2017
At Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
The Main Event – Men’s Featherweight (65.8 kg) But 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD) vs Anthony Birchak (10th Planet Tucson)
Co-Main – Openweight Bout 10 mii / 1R 5 min / 2R
Amir Aliakbari (Iran / AKA Thailand) vs Geronimo Dos Santos (Brazil / Hard Fight)
9th Match – Men’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Kyoji Horiguchi (Japan / ATT) vs Yuki Motoya (Japan / CB IMPACT)
8th Match – Women’s 49 Kg & Under Bout 5 mim / 3R
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Dora Perjes (Hungary / Bardosi Martial Arts Acade)
7th Match – Men’s Flyweight (56.7 kg) Bout 3 min / 3R
Teshin Nasukawa (Japan / Team Tenshin) vs Francesco Ghigliotti (Italy / Sempre Avanti)
6th Match – 120 kg & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2R
Satoshi Ishii (Japan / Independent) vs Heath Herring (USA / Las Vegas Combat Club)
5th Match – Women’s 90 Kg & Under bout 5 min / 3R
KING Reina (Japan / Reversal Gym Tachikawa ALPHA) vs Jazzy Gabert (Germany / Independent)
4th Match – 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)
3rd Match – Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Saori Ishioka (Japan / Zendo-kai) vs Bestare Kicaj (Switzerland / 360 Martial Arts)
2nd Match – Women’s 48 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Kanna Asakura (Japan / Paraestra Matsudo) vs Alesander Tochevea (Bulgaria / Desant MMA & astos BJJ Varna)
1st Match – 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