ON SUNDAY, APRIL 16
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Anthony Birchak
April 3 – RIZIN FF has announced that it will stream its fifth live event to a worldwide audience on FITE TV from the Yokohama Arena in Japan on Sunday, April 16. Fight fans can stream the event live on their television for $14.99 by downloading the FITE app free from iTunes or Google Play and using the instant stream-to-TV function for full-screen viewing, or watching online from any device at www.fite.tv.
The main event will pit superstars Tatsuya Kawajiri (35-11-2) against Anthony Birchak (13-3) in a 145-pound featherweight contest, and the co-main event will feature undefeated Rena Kubota (3-0) against Dora Perjes (7-1).
The stacked, 11-fight card will also feature a heavyweight bout between former PRIDE and UFC star Heath Herring (28-15) and Olympic Judo medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-7), as well as the RIZIN FF debut of women’s heavyweight Jazzy Gabert (1-0), who will face another unbeaten new face, Reina Miura (2-0).
“We at RIZIN are pleased to be able to give US fans as well as MMA fans around the world the opportunity to experience Japanese MMA at its finest,” said RIZIN FF Senior Executive Vice President Jerry Millen. “Teaming up with FITE TV will give fans the opportunity to watch these exciting fights on a platform specifically built for MMA fans, and the chance to see the awesome level of production and action that only RIZIN can deliver.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with RIZIN and to be the digital PPV partner and provider for RIZIN 2017 in Yokohama on April 16,” said FITE TV CEO Kosta Jordanov. “RIZIN is one of the top MMA promotions in the world, with the top talent in the world, so we’re excited to share this experience with fans everywhere.”
In other action on the card, lightweight (155 pounds) standout Daron Cruickshank (18-9) will meet Yusuke Yachi (16-6).
Cruickshank, since leaving the UFC after a 13-fight tenure there, has gone 2-1 in the RIZIN FF ring. Yachi was victorious in his RIZIN FF debut on December 29, 2016, scoring a devastating TKO on Mario Sismundo in just 10 seconds with a knee to the body.
Former UFC flyweight (125 pounds) star Kyoji Horiguchi (18-2) will make his RIZIN FF debut against Yuki Motoya (18-4).
Horiguchi departed the UFC on a three-fight win streak to sign with RIZIN FF. Motoya is unbeaten in his last 11 fights, a streak dating back to 2013.
In the third women’s fight of the card, Kanna Asakura (6-2) will square off with Aleksandra Toncheva (0-0). Toncheva will make her debut as a professional after a perfect, 8-0 run as an amateur.
The live stream of the RIZIN FF event will begin at 3 p.m. JST (2 a.m. EST) on Sunday, April 16.
Complete RIZIN FF fight card:
- Anthony Birchak vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
- Amir Aliakbari vs. Geronimo dos Santos
- Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Yuki Motoya
- Rena Kubota vs. Dora Perjes
- Francesco Ghigliotti vs. Tenshin Nasukawa
- Heath Herring vs. Satoshi Ishii
- Jazzy Gabbert vs. Reina Miura
- Daron Cruickshank vs. Yusuke Yachi
- Saori Ishioka vs. Bestare Kicaj
- Kanna Asakura vs. Aleksandra Toncheva
- Seiichiro Ito vs. Kizaemon Saiga