Rizin Adds 4 Fights to Dec. 31 Rizin 26 Card, Places Both Asakura Brothers on Event

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 10, 2020

Rizin Fighting Federation is jamming its final event of the year full of MMA fights.

Per a press release on Thursday, four new bouts including three under MMA rules and one in kickboxing have been added to Rizin 26. The year-end card will be held in the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, with a limited number of fans allowed in the building. Unlike past years, there will only be a single card for New Year’s Eve, and 12 bouts are currently slated for the card. The event will be buoyed by a bantamweight title fight between Kai Asakura and Kyoji Horiguchi.

The new MMA fights include a 150-pound catchweight contest of Mikuru Asakura (13-2, 1 NC) against Satoshi Yamasu (11-5), a featherweight scrap between Kleber Koike Erbst (25-5-1) and Kyle Aguon (13-9) and a 139-pound catchweight affair pitting Kazuma Kuramoto (6-1) against Taiyo Nakahara (15-8). The fourth, which will take place at 110 pounds under kickboxing rules, will see a pair of 19-year-old prospects collide when Nakada Yoshinari takes on Phetmalai Phetjaroenvit.

M. Asakura last competed at Rizin 25, and he saw an impressive eight-fight win streak come to an end when Yutaka Saito captured a decision over the 28-year-old in November. This was Asakura’s first win inside the Rizin ring, with each of his past seven appearances either knockouts or unanimous verdicts in his favor. Yamasu will make his Rizin debut coming off of a loss, as he dropped a majority decision to Juntaro Ushiku in September. His own eight-fight win streak came to an end with that decision loss.

Although Erbst will be making his first professional appearance under the Rizin banner, the talented grappler showed up at Rizin 25 in November to perform in a grappling demonstration alongside Roberto de Souza. A traveler in many international organizations like KSW, One Championship and Deep, Erbst sports a stellar stoppage rate of 92 percent, with 21 of 25 victories coming by submission. Aguon will make his second walk to the Rizin ring, first competing at Rizin 21 in February only to lose a decision to Vugar Karamov. The Guam native has gone the distance in 19 of his 22 career bouts, and he has never been finished as a pro.

Rizin 26 Lineup:

Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – bantamweight title
Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota – bantamweight
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto – atomweight title
Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu – atomweight
Yuki Motoya vs. Naoki Inoue – bantamweight
Ren Hiramoto vs. Kyohei Hagiwara – 150-pound catchweight
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario – heavyweight
Yuta Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa – bantamweight
Mikuru Asakura vs. Satoshi Yamasu – 150-pound catchweight
Kleber Koike Erbst vs. Kyle Aguon – featherweight
Kazuma Kuramoto vs. Taiyo Nakahara – 139-pound catchweight
Nadaka Yoshinara vs. Phetmalai Phetjaroenvit – 110-pound catchweight kickboxing

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