Tofiq Musayev’s return to RIZIN will have high stakes on June 13th, as he will face Roberto Satoshi Souza in a fight to become the promotion’s inaugural lightweight champion.
The fight was one of the many new fights unveiled for RIZIN 28 on Tuesday at a press conference. The fights will take place during RIZIN’s debut event at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
Musayev last appeared on a RIZIN card in 2019, where he defeated Johnny Case and Patricky Pitbull in one night to win an eight-man bantamweight grand prix that kicked off earlier in the year. The 31-year-old fighter has gone undefeated through his five appearances in RIZIN from 2018 and 2019.
Along with most international talent, it has been hard for RIZIN to bring Musyaev into Japan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Musyaev enlisted to serve time in the Azerbaijani army in the Fall as they clashed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region with Armenia. A peace deal was later reached in November 2020 by Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia to halt the battle.
Souza is getting put in the title fight after putting together a promotional record of four wins and one loss from 2019 to 2021. He scored a quick submission win in his last showing, stopping Kazuki Tokudome within a round with a triangle choke in March.
Prior wins on Souza’s record include finish victories over Yusuke Yachi and Mizuto Hirota.
Saito To Face Kyaramov In Non-Title Fight
RIZIN Featherweight Champion Yutaka Saito will compete for the first time since earning his belt when fighting Vugar Kyaramov in June.
Saito last appeared in November, where he defeated Mikuru Asakura via unanimous decision to become RIZIN’s first featherweight champ. The bout came three months after his promotional debut, which saw him stop Kazumasa Majima in the second round of a fight with strikes.
Kyaramov will be returning to the RIZIN stage after over a year outside of the ring. The 29-year-old won his RIZIN debut in early 2020, defeating Pancrase vet Kyle Aguon on scorecards. The performance extended his win streak to 11 consecutive.
Kickboxer BeyNoah Set For MMA Debut
Decorated RISE Kickboxing talent BeyNoah will compete under MMA rules for the first time at RIZIN 28, fighting Satoshi Yamasu.
BeyNoah has competed under RISE Kickboxing frequently for years. The 25-year-old currently holds a kickboxing record of 17 wins and three losses, per his profile on RISE’s site.
BeyNoah’s opponent, Yamasu, will be looking to break a two-fight skid in the appearance. The DEEP Impact veteran lost his RIZIN debut on New Year’s Eve last year, getting stopped in the first round by Mikuru Asakura.
Sudario Given Shibisai For Fourth Pro Bout
Sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter Tsuyoshi Sudario will get a big challenge in his fourth pro bout, being matched against Shoma Shibisai for RIZIN 28.
Sudario has quickly attained three wins since making his pro debut in September. Two of his wins came against pro wrestlers Dylan James and Kazushi Miyamoto, who were both making their pro MMA debuts in the bout.
Sudario’s most notable win comes from New Year’s Eve, where he defeated MMA veteran Minowaman within a round due to leg kicks.
The next fight will be a big step up in competition for Sudario, as Shibisai steps into the ring with a pro record of six wins and two losses. The 30-year-old last competed in late 2019, where he submitted Sergey Shemetov within a minute on a collaborative card between RIZIN and Bellator.
Smaller Details Revealed At Press Conference
RIZIN’s press conference also saw them reveal small changes to the promotion and its operation.
It was revealed that all of the promotion’s MMA bouts going forward will allow elbows. This change comes after their MMA bouts previously had the option for elbows, something that was changed for some bouts.
It was also mentioned that the start time for RIZIN 28 will be 3:30PM local time, with doors opening two hours prior.
Main Card (3:30PM JST / 2:30AM EDT) (Live-Now / RIZIN Live)
Bout 9: Tofiq Musayev (18-3) vs. Roberto Satoshi Souza (11-1) (Vacant RIZIN Lightweight Championship)
Bout 8: Shooto Watanabe (22-5-6) vs. Kai Asakura (16-3) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 7: Shintaro Ishiwatari (26-8-4) vs. Naoki Inoue (15-2) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 6: Yuki Motoya (27-9) vs. Ryo Okada (17-4-3) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 5: Takeshi Kasugai (26-7-1) vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo (21-5-2) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Bout 4: Mikuru Asakura (14-2) vs. Kleber Koike (27-5-1) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 3: Yutaka Saito (19-4-2) vs. Vugar Karamov (15-3) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 2: Shoma Shibisai (6-2) vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (3-0) (264 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 1: Satoshi Yamasu (11-6) vs. BeyNoah (0-0) (160 lbs) (MMA Bout)