Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN is hoping to head to Hawaii for an event next year.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara held a press conference on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii on Tuesday, using the opportunity to reveal the promotion’s intention to someday hold an event in the area.
The plans for RIZIN’s first event in 2023 seem barebones at the moment, but many big players are involved. Enson Inoue, a former fighter and current resident of Hawaii, attended the press conference and revealed his plan to help with the event.
Sakakibara also said that Bellator President Scott Coker and boxer Floyd Mayweather will aid in creating the show next year.
“I know RIZIN is not a common name,” said Sakakibara. “But we will do our best to become the most dynamic and dramatic combat sports event in Hawaii.”
Horiguchi To Face Kintaro, Other Fights Revealed
Along with RIZIN’s future event announcement, the promotion revealed more details regarding their September 25th show from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Most notably, the opponent for returning RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Kyoji Horiguchi was revealed. Competing in Japan for the first time since late 2020, Horiguchi is expected to face Kintaro.
Kintaro is coming off two consecutive losses from last year, dropping bouts to notable talents Naoki Inoue and Yuki Motoya.
Horiguchi is also on a skid, having lost recent bouts against Sergio Pettis and Patchy Mix in Bellator.
Three other bouts were announced for RIZIN 38, with one fight also being revealed for the “Super RIZIN” card which will happen earlier that day.
Kyohei Hagiwara and Chihiro Suzuki were present for Tuesday’s press conference when a fight between them was announced. Hagiwara will be aiming to snap a two-fight skid, while Suzuki will be searching for his third RIZIN victory.
The lengthy winning streak of Juri Ohara will be put to the test when he faces Luiz Gustavo at lightweight.
Heavyweight Shoma Shibisai will return, facing RIZIN newcomer Callyuu Gibrainn.
Muay Thai ace Yoshinari Nadaka is set to compete on the card, meeting So Trakunpet Bandasak. The bout is under kickboxing rules, but elbows will be allowed as well.
It is still expected that former kickboxer Ren Hiramoto and super atomweight fighter Anastasiya Svetkivska will also have bouts announced for the card.
RIZIN said they will provide more updates regarding the event on September 6th.
Bout 7: Hiromasa Ougikubo (25-5-2) vs. Kim Soo-chul (17-6-1) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 6: Kyoji Horiguchi (29-5) vs. Kintaro (14-11-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 5: Kyohei Hagiwara (6-6) vs. Chihiro Suzuki (7-3) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 4: Juri Ohara (31-17-3) vs. Luiz Gustavo (11-2) (156 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 3: Shoma Shibisai (8-3) vs. Callyu Gibrainn (5-1) (264 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 2: Mikuru Asakura vs. Floyd Mayweather (Exhibition Boxing Bout)
Bout 1: Yoshinari Nadaka vs. So Trakunpet Bandasak (116 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)