Takanori Gomi, Tenshin Nasukawa to Compete at Rizin Fighting Federation’s NYE Event

By: Tristen Critchfield
Dec 21, 2020

Former Pride Fighting Championships superstar Takanori Gomi and kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa will compete at Rizin Fighting Federation’s New Year’s Eve event.

The Japanese promotion announced the late additions to Rizin 26 on Monday. Rizin 26 takes place on Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan and is headlined by a bantamweight championship clash between Kai Asakura and Kyoji Horiguchi. Additionally, Ayaka Hamasaki and Miyuu Yamamoto will square off for the atomweight belt.

Gomi will square off against kickboxer Koji Tanaka in a special standing bout in which both fighters “will only be allowed to punch with the exception of back fist blows,” according to a release. The fight will consist of three, three-minute rounds with no decision announced.

Gomi returns for the first time since July 2018, when “The Fireball Kid” knocked out Melvin Guillard to snap a six-bout losing streak at Rizin 11. New Year’s Eve will mark Gomi’s third appearance under the Rizin banner. According to the promotion, “Kouzi” Tanaka owns a 28-14-2 kickboxing mark.

“I’d like to show the best I could do as a fighter in my 40s. I’ll try not to get in the way of the young kids trying to do their thing but I think it’ll be a good workout,” Gomi said in a release. “I don’t even know who this kid is, I don’t follow such a terrible sport.”

Said Tanaka: “Gomi was a great fighter. He used to be the Fireball Kid, but now he’s just a Saggyball pops.”

An opponent for Nasukawa has yet to be announced. He is 39-0 with 30 knockouts as a kickboxer and has secured nine of those triumphs with Rizin.

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