RIZIN – 12/31/2017: Kosaka talked about upcoming fight vs Cro Cop

Tsuyoshi TK Kosaka

“He is one of those bread and butter fighters that has been supporting the Japanese MMA. When I think about exchanging fists with him, I get this tremor of excitement. On day of the fight, I will have a upmost respect towards him and that’s why I am going to crash him”.

At the RIZIN press conference held in Tokyo last week, this is what Tsuyoshi TK Kosaka said about his upcoming fight against Mirko Cro Cop on New Year’s Eve.

“Last year, if I defeated Kaido Hoovelson then I would have fought him at semi-final so I actually have been training to fight Cro Cop for a year now. I am prepared to die and that is the attitude I am going to have on December 31st”.

UFC / PRIDE veteran made a pro debut back in 1995 and after losing to Mark Hunt in 2006 Kosaka did retire once. But he made the come back in 2015, at age 45, and beat James Thompson.

Then, last year, Kosaka entered heavyweight tournament as a seeded fighter and faced Hoovelson in the quarter-final and lost via unanimous decision. Cro Cop defeated Hoovelson in the semi and Amir Aliakbari in the final to win this tournament.

Kosaka will be 47 and Cro Cop will be 43 years old on December 31st, but Kosaka believes Cro Cop is still very dangerous,, “I think preciseness and destructive power of his left straight punch is still the same. When he lands one effective shot then he would go for the kill immediately and that is same from his prime years.”

RIZIN head Nobuyuki Sakakibara added at the end, “We inked multi-fight deal with Mirko and he will retire at the end of next year. Apparently he has received many offers but to finish his career he chose Japan. So, including this fight against Kosaka, I think he would fight maybe three more times till the retirement.”

Sunday, December 31st, 2017
At Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

120 Kg &Uder Bout 1R / 10 min / 2R / 5 min
Mirko Cro-Cop (Croatia / Cro-Cop Top Team) vs Tsuyoshi “TK” Kosaka (Japan / ALLIANCE)

RIZIN Women’s Super-Atomweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout 5 min / 3R
RENA (Japan / Shoot Boxing) vs  (Spain / )

RIZIN Women’s Super-Atomweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout 5 min / 3R
Kanna Asakura (Japan / Paraestra Matsudo) vs Maria Oliveira (Brazil / Parana Vale Tudo)

Women’s Flyweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Shinju Nozawa Auclair (USA / ) vs Chelsea La Grasse (USA / Lancaster Academy of MMA)


Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)