RIZIN Announces Nine More Fights For April Doubleheader

Kanna Asakura will challenge Ayaka Hamasaki for the second time at RIZIN 27 (© RIZIN FF)
Kanna Asakura will return against SARAMI at RIZIN 35 (© RIZIN FF)

RIZIN has announced a load of matchups for their April doubleheader of events, including more international names and other returning veterans from the promotion. Both events are expected to take place at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo, Japan.

RIZIN 35, which is expected to take place on April 17th, now has eight fights in total booked for it.

The promotion confirmed five fights for the event during a press conference on Tuesday.

The biggest matchup from that bundle of announcements is a fight between RIZIN star Kanna Asakura and current Shooto Japan Atomweight Champion SARAMI.

Asakura will be looking to rebound after losing two fights in 2021, dropping decisions to high-profile names Ayaka Hamasaki and Saori Oshima.

SARAMI is a veteran of the Japanese MMA scene, having fought more than two dozen times on the regional circuit. She became a champ in her last appearance, defeating RIZIN alum Mina Kurobe on a Shooto Japan card back in November 2021.

Former UFC fighter Spike Carlyle will also get his RIZIN debut on the card, facing Koji Takeda.

Carlyle is getting the RIZIN opportunity after a strong run last year, scoring four consecutive finish wins around the U.S. This included an impressive comeback victory against Dan Moret on a Bellator card in December 2021.

Takeda scored a submission win at RIZIN’s last New Year’s Eve event, stopping BeyNoah with an armbar.

Both returning to the promotion, Takahiro Ashida and Kyle Aguon will meet at RIZIN 35. Both fighters lost in their previous appearance in RIZIN. Aguon’s last bout was over a year ago against Kleber Koike.

Pancrase veteran Taichi Nakajima will get his first RIZIN appearance when facing Vugar Karamov on the card.

Heavyweight standout Shoma Shibisai will get a big test on the card, facing undefeated Latvian talent Rihard Bigis at RIZIN 35.

Four Fights Join ‘TRIGGER’

RIZIN’s third “TRIGGER” event is scheduled to take place on April 16th, just a day before RIZIN 35. The show has seven fights in total currently.

Former sumo wrestler Satoshi Kamiyama, also known as Takakenshin, will make his MMA debut at “TRIGGER” when facing Hideki Sekine. 

Kamiyama competed as a sumo wrestler from 2013 to 2021. He retired from competing last year after the Japan Sumo Association found cannabis in a test registered on him.

Sekine, a veteran heavyweight, won against Shoma Shibisai at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve card a few months back.

Former ONE Championship fighter Kimihiro Eto is expected to meet Tatsuya Saika at lightweight.

Returning to RIZIN for the first time since 2019, Takaki Soya will face Nobuyoshi Nakatsuka.

Undefeated prospect Takuma Sudo will make his RIZIN debut on the card against experienced fighter Shooto Watanabe.

Updated Lineups

RIZIN TRIGGER 3rd – 4/16/22

Bout 7: Luiz Gustavo (10-2) vs. Yusuke Yachi (23-12) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 6: Kintaro (14-11-2) vs. Kazuma Kuramoto (9-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 5: Masanori Kanehara (28-14-5) vs. Kazumasa Majima (14-3) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 4: Hideki Sekine (11-5) vs. Takakenshin (0-0) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 3: Tatsuya Saika (7-2) vs. Kimihiro Eto (18-6-2) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 2: Takaki Soya (11-4-1) vs. Nobuyoshi Nakatsuka (7-3) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 1: Shooto Watanabe (23-6-6) vs. Takuma Sudo (5-0) (134 lbs)

RIZIN 35 – 4/17/22

Bout 8: Roberto Satoshi Souza (13-1) vs. Johnny Case (27-7-1) (RIZIN Lightweight Championship)

Bout 7: Juntaro Ushiku (21-8-1) vs. Yutaka Saito (20-6-2) (RIZIN Featherweight Championship)

Bout 6: Ayaka Hamasaki (23-4) vs. Seika Izawa (5-0) (RIZIN Atomweight Championship)

Bout 5: Kanna Asakura (18-6) vs. SARAMI (16-12) (108 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 4: Koji Takeda (13-2) vs. Spike Carlyle (13-3) (157 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 3: Takahiro Ashida (24-11-2) vs. Kyle Aguon (13-10) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 2: Vugar Karamov (15-4) vs. Taichi Nakajima (15-11-1) (146 lbs)

Bout 1: Shoma Shibisai (7-3) vs. Rihards Bigis (9-0) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)

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