Rizin FF Signs UFC Veteran Daron Cruickshank to Compete at April 17 Event

By: Tristen Critchfield
Mar 24, 2016

Rizin Fighting Federation has announced five new bouts for its April 17 event, including one which features a 13-time UFC veteran.

“The Ultimate Fighter 15” cast member Daron Cruickshank will meet Shinji Sasaki in a featured lightweight clash, the Nobuyuki Sakakibara-led organization revealed during a press conference on Thursday.

The four other confirmed contests are as follows: Chris Barnett vs. Kirill Sidelnikov at heavyweight; Gabi Garcia vs. Anna Malyukova in an open-weight contest; Teodoras Aukstuolis vs. Jaideep Singh at a 216-pound catch-weight and Vadim Nemkov vs. Karl Albrektsson at light heavyweight.

Cruickshank was released from the UFC following a submission loss to Paul Felder on Jan. 17, his third straight defeat within the Las Vegas-based promotion. “The Detroit Superstar” owns notable wins over Anthony Njokuani, Erik Koch, Yves Edwards and Mike Ricci over the course of his professional career.

The 35-year-old Sasaki enters the contest on a three-fight winning streak. The Japanese fighter known as “Torao Supernova” has competed for Road FC, Pancrase and Shooto during his MMA tenure, compiling a 16-8-3 mark.

Rizin FF 1 takes place at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Aichi, Japan and will see Wanderlei Silva team with an yet to be announced partner to take on Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro in a grappling tag match in the evening’s main event. Broadcast and streaming plans have yet to be announced.

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