A rematch between Kyoji Horiguchi and Kai Asakura will be on RIZIN’s annual New Year’s Eve card next month. The fight will take place at Saitama Super Arena and be for Asakura’s RIZIN Bantamweight Championship, as announced at a press conference on Friday.
The fight is a rematch from 2019, where Asakura pulled off an upset, stopping Horiguchi in the second minute with punches. While Horiguchi was the RIZIN Bantamweight Champion at the time, the fight was not for his belt.
Horiguchi vacated his belt later in the year due to injury, putting him out of action for months to come as well. While Asakura didn’t become the next champion, he has gained the belt since then.
Asakura fought for the vacant belt in December of 2019, losing the fight to Manel Kape. Kape vacated the belt after signing with the UFC.
Asakura earned the belt by defeating Hiromasa Ougikubo in August at RIZIN 23. He has since competed in a non-championship fight, beating Shoji Maruyama at RIZIN 24.
Along with his brother Mikuru, Kai has become one of the biggest promotional names for RIZIN in recent years.
The Asakura brothers have obtained a fanbase online in the past couple of years, both having Youtube channels that have a steady viewership of six-or-more-figures.
Mikuru Asakura is scheduled to fight for RIZIN’s inaugural featherweight belt against Yutaka Saito on November 21st.
The event will be RIZIN’s sixth year holding an event on New Year’s Eve. The championship fight is the only one currently scheduled for the card.