Back in 2003 these two fought under the K-1 rules. This time RIZIN hasn’t revealed anything in regards to the rules but the rematch between Bob Sapp and Akebono is now officially confirmed.
This was announced by Nobuhiko Takada during the popular variety show by Fuji TV called “Downtown Now”.
Akebono, a former grand champion of sumo, was KO’d by Sapp in his K-1 debut. And, Akebono went on to post a very unimpressive K-1 record of 1-8 (also 0-4 in MMA) before switching to pro-wrestling.
Sapp has been less than impressive lately as well. From 2011 to 2013 he went 0-12 in MMA and 0-10 in kick boxing.
Akebono is 46 and Sapp is 42. Sure,they are younger than, let’s say, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, but unlike these two MMA legends, Akebono and Sapp are for TV show.
It’s almost a freak show strictly for the Japanese general TV audience.
When these two fought back in New Years Eve 2003 TV rating went up to 43%.
And till this date, these two are household names in Japan. In fact, on the general public of Japan, these two are far more recognizable names than Randy or Conor or Ronda.
And that’s why these two are fighting in RIZIN.
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):
29th – SARABA SPREE
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
56.7 Kg / 125 lbs & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2 & 3R
Yuki Motoya (Japan / CM IMPACT) vs Jo Nam-Jin (Korea / TEAM MAD)
31st – IZA DANCE
66 Kg / 145 lbs & Under Bout 10 min / 1R 5 min / 2 & 3 R
Kron Gracie (Brazil) vs Arsen Yamamoto (Japan / GSA)
Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Fina & Final
29th or 31st (date of these fights will be determined later):
65 Kg / 143.29 lbs & Under Bout 10 min / 1R, 5 min / 2 & 3R
Hiroyuki Takaya (Japan / Takaya Gundan) vs DJ taiki (Japan / / Freelance)
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 / 112.43 lbs & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym) vs Jleana Valentino (Italy / Team Leone Petrosyan)
93 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 3R
Gabi Garcia (Brazil / King’s MMA – Team Alliance) vs Lei’D Tapa (USA / TNA)
Bob Sapp (USA / Freelance) vs Akebono (Japan / Freelance)
Confirmed to Fight:
Emelianenko Fedor (Russia)
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)