RIZIN Announces Opening Round of Super Atomweight Grand Prix For July 31st Card

Seika Izawa speaks after a win in the RIZIN ring.
RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa will compete in the promotion’s upcoming tournament (RIZIN FF)

RIZIN will hold their second-ever super atomweight tournament this year, with the opening round kicking off just later this month.

The quarter-final bouts in the promotion’s upcoming tournament are set to take place at RIZIN 37 on July 31st, per an announcement made Thursday. The fights joined a busy card that is scheduled to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The tournament includes a series of high-profile RIZIN talents, along with a group of international fighters that will be making their promotional debut.

In the biggest bout of the opening round, current RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa will take on fellow undefeated talent Laura Fontoura.

Fontoura boasts a strong record of seven wins from regional MMA cards. This tournament will be the first time she appears in a fight below the strawweight division.

Izawa became champion in just her latest fight, defeating Ayaka Hamasaki for the second time. That bout was just her sixth win since turning pro in 2020.

Hamasaki will have a chance to avenge her losses against Izawa if she can make it later into the tournament. Her campaign will kick off against former UFC fighter Jessica Aguilar.

Aguilar will be fighting for her first victory since 2018 in the appearance. The skid includes two of her final appearances in UFC.

Hamasaki and Aguilar were previously booked to meet on a Jewels card more than a decade ago, although that fight ended up not happening.

Looking to win a grand prix for the second time, Kanna Asakura will meet Park Si-woo in the first round of the bracket.

Asakura most notably won in the promotion’s 2017 tournament, scoring three wins over a three-month period. In the final, she submitted Shoot Boxing ace RENA.

Park, a DEEP Jewels veteran, made an impact in her RIZIN debut last year, defeating RENA in a unanimous decision result. She’ll make her return to the promotion with this booking.

RENA is also part of the bracket, facing promotional newcomer Anastasiya Svetkivska in the quarter-finals.

The fight will mark RENA’s return to the super atomweight division after more than three years. She has notably fought at catchweights in more recent appearances, appearing at 110 and 112-pound weight limits.

In 2018, RENA was hospitalized after trying to reach the 108-pound super atomweight limit for a fight against Samantha Jean-Francois.

RENA had a four-fight winning streak snapped in her last appearance by the aforementioned Park.

Svetkivska is entering the bracket with a pro record of two wins. She scored her last victory in February, stopping Lubov Deresh in the first round with strikes.

Updated Lineup

RIZIN 37 is up to a total of 14 bouts now. Along with the grand prix matchups, two other bouts were revealed on Thursday. Here is a full look at the show currently:

Bout 14: Naoki Inoue (15-3) vs. Kenta Takizawa (13-8) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 13: Ulka Sasaki (23-10-2) vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (15-5) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 12: Yuki Motoya (30-10) vs. Shinobu Ota (2-1) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 11: YUSHI (1-1) vs. Haruki (136 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 10: Kota Miura (1-0) vs. Felipe Masoni (9-4) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 9: Vugar Karamov (16-4) vs. Rikuto Shirakawa (11-8-1) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 8: Hideki Sekine (12-5) vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (4-1) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 7: Hideo Tokoro (35-30-2) vs. Makoto Shinryu (13-1-1) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 6: Seika Izawa (6-0) vs. Laura Fontoura (7-0) (108 lbs) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)

Bout 5: Ayaka HamasakiĀ  (23-5) vs. Jessica Aguilar (20-9) (108 lbs) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)

Bout 4: Kanna Asakura (19-6) vs. Park Si-woo (7-4) (108 lbs) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)

Bout 3: RENA (12-4) vs. Anastasiya Svetkivska (2-0) (108 lbs) (RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)

Bout 2: Marcos Yoshio Souza (9-2) vs. Daichi Abe (10-5) (176 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 1: Vugar Karamov (16-4) vs. Sora Yamamoto (16-6-2) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

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