Rizin Fighting Federation has announced more bouts for its two cards in August.
At Rizin 22 “Starting Over,” former Rings title challenger Rikuto Shirakawa will square off against Kyohei Hagiwara at featherweight, while Erson Yamamoto will lock horns with Kenji Kato at bantamweight. A kickboxing bout pitting Yoshinari Nadaka against Yuushin was also added to the bill.
“The pandemic has torn our everyday lives apart. But thanks to Sakakibara and all of his staff, we are given another chance to fight,” Yamamoto said in a release. “I am truly grateful. This will be my return after an injury. I understand the situation I am put in, and I will climb back up to where I belong.”
Meanwhile, Rizin 23 “Calling Over” will include a 155-pound clash between former One Championship lightweight titlist Kotetsu Boku and Jin Aoi, while former Deep flyweight champion Yusaku Nakamura meets reiging Zst flyweight king Tatsuki Saomoto at 125 pounds. A trio of kickboxing matches were also confirmed: Shintaro Matsukura vs. Koji Mori; Kaito Ono vs. Daryl Lokoku and Kento Haraguchi vs. Taiga Kawabe.
“I was supposed to fight [Kai] Asakura, but I think the most important thing right now is to fight,” Boku said. “I know my next loss will be my last fight, so I will keep challenging until I get the Asakura fight. I keep myself motivated by training everyday, but I was able to use this quarantine period in a very good way. When you fight as long as I have been fighting, all of my opponents will be younger. So I plan to teach these kids a tough lesson.”
Rizin 22 takes place at Pia Arena MMA in Yokohama, Japan, on Aug. 9, and is headlined by a flyweight duel between Naoki Inoue and Shuto Watanabe. Rizin 23 takes place one day later at the same venue and is topped by clash for the vacant bantamweight title between Kai Asakura and Hiromasa Ougikubo. Both events will allow fans to attend at 50 percent capacity.