TOKYO Roppongi – September 11th, RIZIN held a press conference in Tokyo at the RIZIN HQ to announce 5 additional card to the Fukuoka event. During the conference, the final participants for the Bantamweight GP were announced, along with rising star Tenshin Nasukawa’s opponent.
RIZIN General Manager Nobuhiko Takada announced that the final slot for the Bantam weight GP is Road FC’s top contender Jae Hoon Moon (10-9) vs Superior Challenge Bantamweight Champion, and French prospect Kevin Petshi (12-3). This makes Bracket B complete along with the previously announced Shintaro Ishiwatari (22-6) vs Akhmed Musakaev (5-0) and Erson Yamamoto (2-2) vs Manel Kape (6-1). The winners will advance to the quarter finals held on December 29th, where awaits Kyoji Horiguchi (20-2), Takafumi Otsuka (23-13), Khalid Taha (11-0), who all have earned their spot in the July event, and 2 wildcard slots, which is yet to be announced. The drawing for the Quarter finals will be done the day after the Fukuoka event.
RIZIN’s upcoming prospect Tenshin Nasukawa (4-0) will be facing a Japanese elite boxing champion Yamato Fujita who will be making his professional MMA debut. Fujita has countless accomplishments in the amateur boxing scene in Japan, winning 5 National titles and beating a London Olympic Bronze medalist. He transitioned to MMA in 2016, and has had 2 amateur MMA bouts, winning them both.
Fujita provoked Nasukawa during the conference saying “It is an honor for me to be making my MMA debut on such a prestigious platform, against such a great name. I think it is a terrific opportunity for me to beat the fighter with all the hype and make a name for myself. I understand that Nasukawa is an accomplished kick boxer, but my hands are much better, I hope he fights me with his hands only.” The aggravated Nasukawa responded “I have seen many of his boxing fights. He is tough, but nothing special, I am a kickboxer but still I have better hands.” When questioned about beating a former boxing world champion under kickboxing rules the 19 year old responded, “I was so set on beating a boxing champion with my hands, I got sloppy and it took me a while to KO him. If I could stay calm, I could have finished him much earlier. Now I have had that experience, and know exactly how to finish a boxer. I know my opponent has a different style and he has MMA experience, so I hope he can surprise me.”
This fight will be under RIZIN MMA Special rules with 3 rounds x 5 minutes.
Nobuhiko Takada also added that there will be 3 kick boxing fights, giving opportunity to local fighters in Fukuoka to showcase their talent in a large platform.
Issei Ishii (19-8-2) vs Jin Mandokoro (7-0)
YUKI (28-21) vs Darvish Kurogi (15-12-5)
Ryota Renseigym (8-4) vs Yoshihisa Morimoto (8-4-1)