RIZIN 34 Preview

Satoshi Yamasu and Kyohei Hagiwara pose at a RIZIN press conference.
Satoshi Yamasu and Kyohei Hagiwara will headline RIZIN 34 on Sunday night (RIZIN FF)

RIZIN will present their first numbered event of the year on Sunday night, showcasing a busy 17-fight card from the Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan. In the main event, flashy featherweight Kyohei Hagiwara will meet former DEEP Impact Champion Satoshi Yamasu.

Here’s a full preview of the evening.

Main Card (1:00AM EST / 2:00PM JST) (RIZIN Live / Live-Now)

Opening Bout: Ryo Sato vs. SHUN (132 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

One kickboxing fight is scheduled to happen before the opening ceremony for the show. In this matchup, Ryo Sato and SHUN will battle.

This is a trilogy bout between the fighters. They first met in 2019, where Sato scored a decision win. A year later, SHUN won their rematch. Both of those fights were in DEEP KICK, a promotion that both bantamweights are regulars in.

Bout 1: Masaya Jaki vs. Kouta (154 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

The card will officially get started with a fight between Masaya Jaki and Kouta.

Both fighters are currently on losing streaks from fights in promotions like RISE Kickboxing and DEEP Kick.

Bout 2: Yuma Yamahata vs. Sho Ogawa (139 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Both returning to RIZIN, kickboxers Yuma Yamahata and Sho Ogawa will compete.

Yamahata has appeared twice in the past for RIZIN, taking a loss and a draw on scorecards. He is coming off a win, as he beat Shohei Asahara on a RISE Kickboxing card in November 2021.

Ogawa’s last RIZIN bout was a decision loss to Kaito in 2018. He has since remained active in the regional kickboxing scene, mostly losing bouts.

Bout 3: Ryuki (1-2) vs. Ayumu Yamamoto (3-1) (139 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the first of nine MMA fights on this card, Ryuki and Ayumu Yamamoto will face off.

Ryuki is fighting to even his pro record. Through three fights in MMA, he has taken one win and two losses with all fights not going the distance.

Yamamoto took his first pro loss in his last appearance, suffering a submission loss to RIZIN alum Tetsuya Seki in December 2021.

Bout 4: Jin Mandokoro vs. Syuto Sato (117 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Jin Mandokoro’s undefeated RIZIN run will be put to the test when he faces Syuto Sato in a rematch.

Mandokoro has appeared in RIZIN three times since 2017, winning in each appearance. His last victory came in November 2021, where he stopped Yu Hiramatsu in the second round of a fight.

Mandokoro fought Sato in 2020, attaining a unanimous decision win. Sato has the chance to get that loss back on this card.

Sato has fought in Shoot Boxing recently, attaining two wins through four appearances since July 2021. He’s fighting for his first RIZIN win, as his record for the promotion is one draw and two losses.

Bout 5: Yuuki Kasahara vs. Motoki (134 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Shoot Boxing standout Yuuki Kasahara will meet Motoki in the next fight.

Kasahara has shown success in Shoot Boxing in recent years. He has won 10 fights since 2019, with his sole loss in those years coming against undefeated star Tenshin Naskawa.

There is little information online about Motoki. He has fought in the past for regional promotion Hoost Cup.

Bout 6: YUYA vs. Yosuke Yamato (154 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Explosive striker YUYA will return to RIZIN on Sunday against Yosuke Yamato.

YUYA has appeared twice before in RIZIN, finishing both of his opponents. He is returning to the promotion after more than two years outside of the ring, with his last victory coming at RIZIN 21 in February 2020.

Yamato has earned a winning record in regional promotions NJKF and Hoost Cup in recent years.

Bout 7: Ryuya Fukuda (13-7-1) vs. Nav’E (14-9-2) (132 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Back to MMA, Ryuya Fukuda and Masayuki Watanabe will battle next.

Fukuda is a former Shooto Japan title challenger, having lost a title bout against now-UFC fighter Tatsuro Taira last year. He snapped a two-fight skid in his last bout, stopping Yuki Ito with strikes last month on a DEEP Impact card.

Masayuke Watanabe, also known as Nav’E, will be making his RIZIN debut. He is a current champ in regional promotion GLADIATOR.

Bout 8: Tatsuki Saomoto (17-2) vs. Yuto Uda (5-0-1) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Undefeated Shooto Japan prospect Yuto Uda has the chance to score a big win when facing Tatsuki Saomoto.

Uda has earned five wins and one draw since debuting in 2019. His last two victories were against notably more experienced opponents, beating Yuichi Miyagi and Kiyotaka Shimizu.

Saomoto has a strong record of 17 wins and just two losses. This includes three wins in RIZIN, beating notable names like Yusaku Nakamura and Daichi Kitakata.

Bout 9: Alan Yamaniha (18-9-4) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (34-13-6) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Veteran Motonobu Tezuka will make his first-ever RIZIN appearance on Sunday night, fighting Bonzai Jiu-Jitsu talent Alan Yamaniha at bantamweight.

Last year, Yamaniha joined RIZIN as part of their 16-man Bantamweight Grand Prix. He won in the opening round, defeating Kazuma Kuramoto in a tough three-round battle. He later lost in the quarter-finals to Kai Asakura.

Tezuka is an MMA veteran of over a decade. He is entering RIZIN on a six-fight winning streak with performances in promotions like Grachan and Shooto Japan. This includes victories over RIZIN alum Uoi Fullswing and Kuya Ito.

Bout 10: TAIGA vs. Ryo Takahashi (134 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

The always-active kickboxer TAIGA will return to RIZIN on Sunday night for a fight against Ryo Takahashi.

TAIGA’s last RIZIN appearance was roughly a year ago, beating Kanta Motoyama at RIZIN 27. He has since fought twice in RISE Kickboxing, picking up a win and a loss respectively.

Takahashi’s last fight was his RIZIN debut, which he lost to Taiju Shiratori last year.

Bout 11: Juri Ohara (29-17-3) vs. Akira (17-8-4) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Rising lightweights Juri Ohara and Akira will put their strong winning streaks on the line in the next fight.

Ohara has won six consecutive bouts since 2020, including two appearances in RIZIN. After scoring three wins in DEEP Impact last year, Ohara returned to RIZIN in November 2021 to score a fast stoppage win over Kohei Tokeshi.

Akira has won his last four fights. The Pancrase vet prevailed in his RIZIN debut last year, securing a submission win against Daichi Abe. His last fight was just last month, defeating Takumi Suzuki on a “TRIGGER” RIZIN card.

Bout 12: Daichi Kitakata (19-10-1) vs. Yutaro Muramoto (8-5-2) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Flyweights Daichi Kitakara and Yutaro Muramoto are expected to meet in the next fight.

Kitakata had an unsuccessful RIZIN debut last year, as Tatsuki Saomoto beat him via unanimous decision. He has bounced back since then, defending his Pancrase Strawweight Championship in a fight against Yuta Miyazawa in December 2021. Now, he returns for a second chance in RIZIN.

Muramoto is competing for the first time in a year. He picked up a quick finish win in his last appearance, stopping Seigo Yamamoto with punches at RIZIN 27.

Bout 13: Strasser Kiichi (20-9-2) vs. Daichi Abe (9-5) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Former UFC, Bellator talent Strasser Kiichi will look for his second straight victory when he faces Daichi Abe.

Kiichi returned to RIZIN in November 2021, scoring a first-round arm triangle choke submission win against Takahiro Kawanaka. This put him back into the win column after suffering two losses in Bellator during 2019.

Abe, also a former UFC fighter, is coming off a loss. In his last appearance, he suffered a submission loss to Akira. Before then, he had a strong three-fight winning streak in DEEP Impact.

Bout 14: Daisuke Nakamura (32-20-1) vs. Sora Yamamoto (13-6-2) (150 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Daisuke Nakamura will attempt to keep his current success going when he faces Sora Yamamoto on Sunday night.

Nakamura, an MMA veteran of nearly two decades, has put together a pair of impressive victories in RIZIN recently and seen a surprising rise in success late in his career. His promotional debut was last year, scoring a first-round armbar win over Suguru Nii. He returned just last month for his second RIZIN win, defeating Michihiro Omigawa.

Yamamoto is also making a quick turnaround for this fight. His last win was just last month, defeating Suguru Nii in only 35 seconds with strikes.

Bout 15: Kouzi vs. Genji Umeno (134 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

The final kickboxing bout of the night will see hometown favorite Kouzi face Genji Umeno in a rematch.

Kouzi and Umeno first fought last year as part of a four-man, one-night tournament that RIZIN held. Their fight had an unsatisfying result, ending in the first round with a no contest outcome due to a collision of heads.

Kouzi lost later that night in the finals of the bracket, dropping a bout to Taiju Shiratori. He picked up his first RIZIN win a few months after, defeating Kazuma Sone. However, he is fighting to return to the win column on Sunday, as he lost at RIZIN 33 to YA-MAN.

Umeno has fought twice since that RIZIN result, taking a draw in a Muay Thai fight and losing to TAIGA on a RISE Kickboxing card.

Bout 16: Satoshi Yamasu (12-6) vs. Kyohei Hagiwara (6-4) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Featherweights Satoshi Yamasu and Kyohei Hagiwara will close out the night.

Yamasu is a former DEEP Impact Featherweight Champion. He is coming off his first RIZIN win, scoring a split decision victory over kickboxing BeyNoah last year. Before then, he lost a fight to Mikuru Asakura.

Hagiwara has made himself somewhat of a fan favorite in RIZIN recently, producing explosive results in most of his fights. He kept active since joining the promotion in 2020, earning five wins and two losses. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak from late last year, earning a doctor stoppage over Shoji and beating Hiroaki Suzuki via decision on New Year’s Eve.

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