Featherweights Mikuru Asakura and Kleber Koike Erbst have been booked to clash at RIZIN’s debut card at the Tokyo Dome next month. The matchup joins the June 13th lineup for RIZIN 28, which is set to happen at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
The pairing was announced at a press conference held by RIZIN on Tuesday.
The new booking adds one of RIZIN’s most popular names in Asakura to a lineup that is expected to be one of their largest of the year.
Asakura last appeared at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event in 2020, stopping Satoshi Yamasu in just under a round with strikes. The fight saw him come back after losing a fight against Yutaka Saito for RIZIN’s inaugural featherweight belt just a month earlier.
Asakura carries a large following online currently. His YouTube channel currently has 1.78 million subscribers, and his accumulated video views are an estimated 660 million at the moment.
The fight gives Koike the opportunity to build upon the momentum he has quickly obtained in RIZIN. The former KSW fighter made his promotional debut in December, submitting Pancrase vet Kyle Aguon in the first round of their fight with a darce choke.
Koike returned in March to secure another submission win, stopping Kazumasa Majima with a triangle choke in the second round.
RIZIN’s June 13th card now has five bouts in total. The four other matchups set to happen are part of a 16-man bantamweight bracket which will kick off at RIZIN 29 on May 30th.
Bout 5: Shooto Watanabe (22-5-6) vs. Kai Asakura (16-3) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 4: Shintaro Ishiwatari (26-8-4) vs. Naoki Inoue (15-2) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 3: Yuki Motoya (27-9) vs. Ryo Okada (17-4-3) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 2: Takeshi Kasugai (26-7-1) vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo (21-5-2) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 1: Mikuru Asakura (14-2) vs. Kleber Koike (27-5-1) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)