RIZIN will showcase a mix of MMA and kickboxing bouts at their event on Sunday evening. A 12-fight card from the Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan, is expected to have four fights from the promotion’s bantamweight tournament, along with a four-man one-night kickboxing bracket that will headline the card.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the event.
Main Card (12:30AM EDT / 1:30PM JST) (Live-Now / RIZIN Live)
Bout 12: Kouzi vs. Taiju Shiratori (RIZIN Kick Tournament Grand Finals) (Kickboxing Bout)
Shiratori Hurts Kouzi Early, Gets Decision Win In Tournament Final
Starting explosively and finishing strong, Taiju Shiratori earned a unanimous decision victory over Kouzi to win RIZIN’s four-man one-night kickboxing tournament in the main event of Sunday’s card.
Shiratori was quick to get Kouzi in trouble, scoring the sole knockdown of the fight in the opening frame.
After hurting Kouzi with quick punches and two knees to the head, Shiratori scored the only knockdown of the fight with a right hook. He then dominated the rest of the opening round following the knockdown, unloading with combinations of punches that were not returned by Kouzi.
The fight became closer in the second and third rounds, as Kouzi started to settle into the fight and trade strikes with Shiratori. The final minutes of the fight saw Kouzi go back-and-forth with Shiratori, who was still landing a lot with his own shots as well.
Shiratori had a quick win earlier in the evening, needing just a minute-and-a-half to stop Ryo Takahashi with strikes.
Kouzi’s first-round fight against Genji Umeno had a no contest stoppage in the first minute due to a head collision injuring the nose of Umeno.
While it wasn’t known at first what would be done for the finals, it was confirmed later in the evening that Kouzi would be put in the bout despite not winning his first fight.
RIZIN Announces Return To Saitama For September
RIZIN’s next event, RIZIN 30, was officially announced before the main event. RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara unveiled that the event will take place on September 19th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The break keeps takes RIZIN out of the mix until the conclusion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are set to begin on July 23rd and finish on August 8th.
RIZIN champions Ayaka Hamasaki and Roberto Satoshi Souza were in the ring for the announcement, although no concrete details on either of their next fights were revealed.
Bout 11: Kintaro (13-9-2) vs. Kuya Ito (10-8-1) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Kintaro Secures Final Spot In Bantamweight Grand Prix
Kintaro became the eighth and final fighter to advance in the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix, defeating Kuya Ito via unanimous decision on Sunday.
Kintaro and Ito didn’t hesitate to trade with hard strikes, both connecting at a high rate from the start. Kintaro had the better performance of the two, connecting with potential fight-ending shots and also scoring takedowns.
Despite the hectic fight which seemed to get the approval of the live audience, Kintaro apologized afterward for not getting a knockout.
Ito was making his RIZIN debut in the fight. The GRACHAN Bantamweight Champion had won eight of his previous 10 fights before Sunday.
Kintaro, a veteran of Pancrase, had a win and a loss in RIZIN before entering the bantamweight tournament.
Bout 10: Takafumi Otsuka (28-18-1) vs. Shian (8-8) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Otsuka Wins In Return To RIZIN, Takes Decision Over Shian
Veteran fighter Takafumi Otsuka took a unanimous decision win in his return to RIZIN, defeating Shian and advancing in the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Otsuka landed numerous takedowns in the fight, using those positions to score with punches while on the back. Shian’s best moments were on the feet, where he was able to hurt Otsuka with singular shots but never put him in great danger.
Otsuka had last competed in RIZIN back in 2017, fighting in a tournament at that time. He has remained active in recent years with fights in regional promotions DEEP Impact and Shooto Japan.
Shian was a big underdog in the tournament due to having an even record of eight wins and eight losses. He had a strong RIZIN debut earlier this year, stopping Kazuma Sone in just 27 seconds with strikes.
Bout 9: Kenta Takizawa (11-7) vs. Masakazu Imanari (38-19-2) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Takizawa Defeats Veteran Imanari In Grand Prix Bout
Kenta Takizawa won on scorecards against Masakazu Imanari to advance in the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix on Sunday.
Takizawa had the best moments in what was primarily a three-round stalemate against Imanari. Stopping many of the attempts to take the fight down, Takizawa was able to connect with some strikes.
The referee warned the fighters to increase their activity many times during the fight.
Imanari had Takizawa in trouble in the third round, getting him down with an imanari roll and attempting a heel hook. A stressed Takizawa panicked and fought his way out of the position, eventually getting back to his feet.
The bout on Sunday was Imanari’s first appearance in RIZIN as part of an extensive career in Japanese MMA. He is a veteran of the sport who is known for having a unique fighting style. The “imanari roll” is named after him and was hit during the fight.
Imanari had a five-fight run in ONE Championship before his loss on Sunday.
Takizawa snapped a two-fight skid of losses in RIZIN with his victory on Sunday.
Bout 8: Kazuma Kuramoto (8-1) vs. Alan Yamaniha (17-8-4) (RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix Opening Round)
Yamaniha Wins RIZIN Debut, Advances In Bantamweight Grand Prix
Alan Yamaniha showcased a strong showing in his RIZIN debut, earning a unanimous decision against Kazuma Kuramoto. The victory made Yamaniha one of eight fighters to advance in the promotion’s ongoing bantamweight tournament.
Yamaniha did damage early with his striking, also being able to show his grappling later on.
Kuramoto was hurt in the first round, getting visibly rocked in numerous instances due to the strikes from Yamaniha.
Yamaniha mounted Kuramoto halfway through the second round with a guillotine choke attempt, although Kuramoto was able to escape once going to the ground.
Kuramoto picked up steam late in the fight, taking Yamaniha down and scoring with hard punches on the ground before the third round expired.
The win on Sunday was Yamaniha’s first time competing in RIZIN. The majority of his extensive pro record has taken place on the regional scene in Japan. He trains out of the Bonsai Jiu-Jitsu gym, which notably has RIZIN Lightweight Champion Roberto Satoshi Souza and former KSW champ Kleber Koike.
Kuramoto won his RIZIN debut last year, scoring a soccer kick win over Taiyo Nakahara.
Bout 7: Yusuke Yachi (21-11) vs. Yuki Kawana (16-5-5) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Yachi Shows Sharp Strike, Snaps Losing Streak
Yusuke Yachi got an overdue win on Sunday, fighting against Yuki Kawana for three rounds to earn a unanimous decision win.
Yachi was able to land the better strikes throughout, pushing the pace in all three rounds.
His best moment was early in the second round, as he dropped Kawana with a combination of strikes finished by a head kick.
The fight gave Yachi his first win in over a year. He came up unsuccessful in his two showings last year. Before Sunday, Yachi had lost five of his last six bouts.
Yachi was competing on Sunday for the first time since switching gyms. He was vocal in the press about making big changes to his life to become a better fighter.
Kawana, a former PFL fighter and veteran of Shooto Japan, has now lost is two fights in RIZIN. His previous fight was against Koji Takeda, which he lost via split decision.
Bout 6: Rikuto Shirakawa (9-8-1) vs. Jin Aoi (8-3-1) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Shirakawa Out-Lands Aoi For Decision Win
Rikuto Shirakawa picked up his second RIZIN win on Sunday, defeating Jin Aoi via unanimous decision after three rounds. The win for Shirakawa came after a three-round striking battle that Shirakawa succeeded in.
Shirakawa became the more aggressive fighter later in the bout, becoming the fighter who was advancing frequently and being first in combinations.
Both fighters were returning after winning a fight against Kotetsu Boku last year.
Shirakawa finished his fight against Boku, while Aoi went to scorecards against him in 2020.
Bout 5: Taiju Shiratori vs. Ryo Takahashi (134 lbs) (RIZIN Kick Tournament Semifinal) (Kickboxing Bout)
Shiratori Stops Takahashi Early To Secure Spot In Finals
Taiju Shiratori wasted no time in his first fight of the evening, stopping Ryo Takahashi within a round to get into the grand finals of RIZIN’s one-night kickboxing tournament.
Takahashi was dropped in the second minute with a left hook as part of a combination. Shiratori followed up with a two-punch combo later that folded Takahashi, causing an end to the fight.
The victory handed his fifth Shiratori win in RIZIN, keeping him undefeated under their banner. He last fought in the promotion in late 2019, defeating TAIGA.
It is not known at the moment who Shiratori will face in the finals.
Bout 4: Kouzi vs. Genji Umeno (134 lbs) (RIZIN Kick Tournament Semifinal) (Kickboxing Bout)
Kouzi vs. Umeno Ends In No Contest, Leaving Questions About Tournament Final
The four-man RIZIN kickboxing tournament kicked off in an odd fashion, as a fight between Kouzi and Genji Umeno concluded in the first round due to a doctor stoppage.
The fight was paused early in the first round as heads collided while Kouzi dipped in for a combination of strikes. The collision caused damage to the nose of Umeno, forcing the fight to be stopped.
It was not clear on the broadcast what will happen in the grand finals of the tournament later in the night. Umeno will presumably not be able to fight due to his injury, potentially putting Kouzi through to the finals despite not winning his fight.
It was announced later in the card that Kouzi would be moved into the finals of the bracket despite the no contest finish.
The bout was Kouzi’s second kickboxing appearance since moving from K-1 Japan to RIZIN last year. His previous fight was in September last year, where he lost a decision to Tenshin Nasukawa.
Bout 3: Yoshinari Nadaka vs. Chikai (115 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Doctor Stoppage Hands Nadaka Third RIZIN Win
Yoshinari Nadaka scored his third RIZIN win on Sunday, causing damage to the nose of Chikai to force a doctor stoppage after one round.
Nadaka was able to hurt the nose of Chikai with an elbow in clinch positions, causing the ringside doctor to call off the bout after one in-between the first and second round.
Nadaka has finished all three of his RIZIN performances within two rounds. His last fight was on New Year’s Eve last year, where he defeated Phetmalai Phetjaroenvit in one round due to knockdowns.
Chikai, a veteran of the Muay Thai scene in Japan, was appearing in RIZIN for the first time in his career.
Bout 2: Seiki Ueyama vs. Jyosei Izumi (123 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Ueyama Runs Through Izumi For Stoppage Win
Seiki Ueyama scored his first RIZIN victories in two years on Sunday, scoring four knockdowns against Jyosei Izumi within a two-round timespan.
The first official knockdown was late in the first round, as Ueyama connected with a right cross that planted Izumi on his back.
The fight came to an end after Ueyama earned three consecutive knockdowns in the second round.
The second knockdown of the fight came early in the second round due to a left hook from Ueyama. Moments later, he put him back down with a spinning back kick and two-punch combination.
The fight came to an end after Ueyama landed punches and dropped Izumi for the fourth time in the fight.
Ueyama was successful from the start of the fight, seemingly hurting Izumi in the opening minute of the fight with a right cross as well.
The win was Ueyama’s fourth appearance in RIZIN. He lost in his previous showing, losing a decision to Rui Ebata last year.
Izumi was making his RIZIN debut on Sunday.
Bout 1: Yuma Yamahata vs. Kiyoto Takahashi (139 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Yamahata and Takahashi Settle With Draw Following Hectic Battle
An intense three-round kickboxing fight between Yuma Yamahata and Kiyoto Takahashi concluded in a majority draw to open the card.
One of the three judges gave the fight to Takahashi, with the other two ruling the fight down the middle.
Both fighters competed at a quick pace throughout. They both landed with a high volume of body and leg kicks, sometimes throwing those more than punches.
Yamahata was making his second appearance in the RIZIN ring. He lost his promotional debut last year, dropping scorecards to TAIGA.
Takahashi was entering the bout with extensive experience from the kickboxing scene in Japan.
RIZIN 29 Loses Flyweight MMA Bout
RIZIN 29 lost an MMA bout just hours before they were set to go live, as the promotion announced the cancellation of a bout between Yusaku Nakamura and Daichi Kitakata.
The bout reportedly left the lineup due to health issues with Kitakata, per a statement released by RIZIN on their website.
The fight gave both competitors the chance to bounce back from a loss in their previous RIZIN showing.