Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN unveiled 13 fights Wednesday for the upcoming debut of their “TRIGGER” series.
The card will be headlined by veteran Shoji, who will take on Kyohei Hagiwara under MMA rules. The main event fight will take place at the Kobe World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan.
The new RIZIN “TRIGGER” series will serve as a way for the promotion to further develop talent alongside their bigger numbered events which take place six to seven times a year.
The debut event in the spin-off provides a variety of names in MMA and kickboxing, some being veterans and others quite early in their careers.
The main event sees a clash between a veteran on a strong run and an explosive finisher.
Shoji has competed as a pro since 2005, fighting in notable promotions like Pancrase, DEEP, Dream, and more. He had a quick win in his last fight, stopping Chihiro Suzuki in just 20 seconds at RIZIN 30 two months back.
Hagiwara is best known for his quick wins in RIZIN, including a 22-second win last year. He is coming off a loss, having been defeated by Mikuru Asakura last month at the first “LANDMARK” card held by the promotion.
Three Bantamweight Matchups Join ‘TRIGGER’
Shooto Japan’s wild striker Uoi Fullswing will return on the card, facing Shian in a bantamweight fight.
Shian’s last appearance was in June, when he lost to Takafumi Otsuka in the opening round of the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Fullswing will be fighting to snap a four-fight losing streak that he currently has in MMA. His last win dates back to a RIZIN event in 2019.
Coming off a recent decision victory, Shooto Japan’s Daichi Lightyear will meet DEEP Impact talent Makoto Kamaya under MMA rules.
Katsuya Fujiwara will make his pro debut on the card when facing Shooto Japan veteran Kenji Kato, who will be aiming to score his first win in the promotion.
Kiichi’s Return To RIZIN Among Two Welterweight Fights
UFC and Bellator vet Strasser Kiichi will return to RIZIN in late November when facing Takahiro Kawanaka.
Kiichi has fought in RIZIN before but is coming back to the promotion after a two-fight run in Bellator. The welterweight veteran is best known for his five-fight UFC run, which at one point included a three-fight winning streak.
The booking gives Kawanaka the chance to score a big win in his first RIZIN appearance. He needed just 50 seconds to earn his last victory, defeating Let’s Gota on a GRACHAN card in August.
The other welterweight fight on the card will see Ryuichiro Sumimura face undefeated prospect Yusaku Kinoshita.
Kinoshita has had an explosive pro career thus far, scoring four first-round stoppage wins within a year. His last win came against Kenta Takagi, who he submitted with a front choke on a Pancrase card.
Sumimura is not only another experienced challenge for Kinoshita but will enter the fight on a strong four-fight streak of wins that includes a RIZIN appearance.
Three More MMA Bouts Join The Lineup
Coming off a successful pro debut earlier this year, Grant Bogdanove will meet pro wrestler Keisuke Okada at the lightweight limit. Okada recently lost in his return to MMA, getting stopped by strikes from Hiroaki Suzuki in October.
The sole featherweight bout of the show will see Chihiro Suzuki meet Sora Yamamoto.
Yamamoto has picked up five consecutive wins on the regional JMMA scene. His most recent victory was on a collaborative card between Shooto Japan and ONE Championship, where he handed Yasuyuki Nojiri his first pro loss.
Suzuki will be fighting to score his first win in RIZIN. He recently returned to the sport after a successful run in kickboxing promotions KNOCK OUT and REBELS.
In the sole flyweight fight on the show, Tatsuki Saomoto will aim to score his third consecutive RIZIN victory when fighting Takashi Matsuba.
Four Kickboxing Bouts Set For ‘TRIGGER’
Four kickboxing fights were also revealed for the card Wednesday.
RISE Kickboxing veteran Jin Mandokoro will return to RIZIN when facing Yu Hiramatsu on the card. Mandokoro recently had a four-fight winning streak snapped by Kazane.
Looking to bounce back from a loss she took against Panchan Rina recently, Momoka will fight Miku at the 101-pound weight limit.
DEEP KICK fighter FUJIMON♡ is also set to appear on the card in a fight against Tsubasa Morii.
In a double RIZIN debut, RISE Kickboxing fighter Tepparith Joegym will face Hiroto Uchimura at bantamweight.
Bout 13: Shoji (19-14-1) vs. Kyohei Hagiwara (4-4) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 12: Shian (8-9) vs. Uoi Fullswing (22-10-5) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 11: Tatsuki Saomoto (16-2) vs. Takashi Matsuba (12-4-1) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 10: Chihiro Suzuki (5-3) vs. Sora Yamamoto (12-5-2) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 9: Strasser Kunimoto (19-9-2) vs. Takahiro Kawanaka (15-7) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 8: Ryuichiro Sumimura (18-7-1) vs. Yusaku Kinoshita (4-0) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 7: Makoto Kamaya (29-16-4) vs. Daiki Lightyear (9-8-3) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 6: Keisuke Okada (0-3) vs. Grant Bogdanove (1-0) (161 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 5: Kenji Kato (12-7) vs. Katsuya Fujiwara (0-0) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 4: Hiroto Uchimura vs. Tepparith Joegym (134 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Bout 3: Tsubasa Mori vs. FUJIMON♡ (121 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Bout 2: Jin Mandokoro vs. Yu Hiramatsu (117 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
Bout 1: Momoka vs. Miku (101 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)