RIZIN’s return to the Okinawa Arena in Okinawa, Japan later this week has suffered a loss.
Former bantamweight champion Kai Asakura has been removed from his headlining bout this Saturday against Yang Ji-yong, per an announcement made by the promotion Thursday.
The fight was scheduled to headline RIZIN 36 on July 2nd.
Yang will remain on the card, as veteran Shoji has stepped in on short notice to face him. Shoji last appeared on a RIZIN card in March, when Hiroaki Suzuki picked up a first-round finish win against him.
Yang will be making his RIZIN debut in the bout. He’s entering the card with an undefeated record of four wins, which were attained on the regional scene in Korea.
Saturday’s RIZIN card will now be headlined Ren Hiramoto and Hiroaki Suzuki.
The previously booked fight was elevated to main event status following the departure of Asakura from the card this week.
Hiramoto will be hunting for his first pro win in MMA. He has come up short in his two previous appearances in the sport, losing to Kyohei Hagiwara and Chihiro Suzuki.