Ayaka Hamasaki will face Kanna Asakura for a second time with the atomweight championship on the line at Rizin Fighting Federation 27.
The Japanese promotion recently announced the pairing, which will headline its first event of 2021. Rizin 27 takes place on March 21 at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan. According to a release, 5,000 spectators will be allowed to attend.
Nine other bouts were also confirmed for the event: Roberto de Souza vs. Kazuki Tokudome at lightweight; Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Kazushi Miyamoto at heavyweight; Kleber Koike Erbst vs. Kazumasa Majima at featherweight; Koji Takeda vs. Takasuke Kume at lightweight; Tetsuya Seki vs. Yoshinori Horie at featherweight; Shooto Watanabe vs. Takumi Tamaru at bantamweight; Kazuma Sone vs. Hiroki Yamashita at bantamweight; Yutaro Muramoto vs. Seigo Yamamoto at flyweight and Kohei Sugiyama vs. Yuki Ito at flyweight.
Hamasaki and Asakura initially squared off for the vacant atomweight belt at Rizin 14, with Hamasaki winning via armbar in the second round. Hamasaki has won four of her five bouts under the Rizin banner since then, falling only to Seo Hee Ham in December 2019. The 38-year-old regained the vacant title with a spectacular leg scissor choke tapout of Miyuu Yamamoto at Rizin 26 this past New Year’s Eve.
“I’m honored to be able to fight in Nagoya once again. I look forward to putting on a main event caliber performance,” Hamasaki said. “I will show that the world’s best atomweight is here in Rizin. Asakura hasn’t improved much in the past two years. She has a great takedown, but has nothing from there.”
Asakura, 23, enters the rematch on a four-bout winning streak. The Paraestra Matsudo representative last appeared at Rizin 26, where she outpointed Ai Shimizu. The former Rizin atomweight grand prix winner has been victorious in 18 of 22 professional outings.
“I’m happy to be able to challenge Hamasaki again. I don’t know what you all think, but I am confident that I have what it takes to beat Hamasaki.”