Ren Hiramoto at a RIZIN press conference.
Ren Hiramoto will get the biggest test of his MMA career on Sunday when faces Satoshi Yamasu on Sunday night (RIZIN FF)

RIZIN’s “LANDMARK” series will make its return on Sunday night from the Dolphins Arena in Nagoya, Japan.

The “LANDMARK” series will be presented in a different way than previously seen. In the past, “LANDMARK” was a short show that consisted of four or five fights in the RIZIN ring. Another theme of the series was how the cards would take place at an undisclosed location.

That will all change this weekend. After RIZIN lost a sponsor this year and in turn had to fold their “TRIGGER” series, the “LANDMARK” show will stick around but adopt a lot of the characteristics of the other b-show. This weekend’s card will be longer in length, and like how “TRIGGER” used to be, it will take place inside a cage instead of the RIZIN ring.

Sunday’s card includes many recognizable names to RIZIN viewers. Some are returning after an absence, with others looking to keep recent momentum rolling.

Coming off his first MMA victory, kickboxer Ren Hiramoto will take on former DEEP Impact champion Satoshi Yamasu in Sunday’s main event. The matchup is expected to be a massive challenge for Hiramoto and comes with the pressure of being in the headlining spot of a card.

Here’s a full preview of the night.

Main Card (1:00AM EDT / 2:00PM JST) (FITE / RIZIN Live)

Bout 1: Shuto Sato vs. KAZUNORI (117 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

The sole kickboxing fight on the card will go first, as Shuto Sato and KAZUNORI will fight.

In his fifth RIZIN appearance, Sato is still searching for his first win under the promotional banner. He has previously taken two losses, one draw and one no contest in RIZIN. He is coming back to the promotion this time after suffering two consecutive losses in Shoot Boxing during recent months.

KAZUNORI mostly competes in DEEP Impact’s kickboxing promotion, DEEP KICK. Per Tapology, he has earned a win and a loss for them this year.

Bout 2: Kenta Kubo (6-2) vs. Hideyoshi Okamoto (3-2) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the first of two flyweight fights on the card, Kenta Kubo and Hideyoshi Okamoto will compete.

Both fighters have mostly been seen competing in GRACHAN and DEEP Impact.

Kubo has strung together a pair of wins in 2022, beating Tetsuo Nakanishi and Shingo Yakul on scorecards. His last loss came last year against undefeated prospect Rei Tsuruya.

Okamoto suffered a loss in his last appearance, dropping a decision to then-winless Kenjiro Taira.

Bout 3: Junya Hibino (4-2) vs. Riku Yoshida (5-0) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Undefeated bantamweight prospect Riku Yoshida will make his RIZIN debut on Sunday night against Junya Hibino.

Yoshida has attained five wins in DEEP since debuting in November 2020. He scored his second finish victory this summer, beating Kohei Inoue with strikes.

Hibino, also a DEEP fighter, has put together four wins through six fights. He’s riding the momentum of a first-round finish from September.

Bout 4: Masakazu Imanari (39-21-2) vs. Chihiro Suzuki (8-3) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The odd, frustrating, confusing, and, of course, legendary, Masakazu Imanari will return this Sunday. He’s facing Chihiro Suzuki, who stepped in on short notice to replace Kazumasa Majima.

Imanari will be coming back to RIZIN for the first time in over a year. His last RIZIN fight saw him score a submission win, catching Takeshi Kasugai with an armbar in October 2021. He has since taken one loss on the regional scene against Takahiro Ashida.

Suzuki is putting a three-fight winning streak on the line in this short-notice booking. He picked up a victory at RIZIN 38 just a few weeks back, submitting Kyohei Hagiwara with a rear naked choke.

Bout 5: Keisuke Okuda (0-4) vs. Yuta Kubo (0-1) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Winless MMA fighters Keisuke Okuda and Yuta Kubo will fight next.

Okuda is mainly a pro wrestler. He has fought twice for RIZIN in the past, losing quickly to Hiroaki Suzuki and Grant Bogdanove.

Kubo, a former K-1 Japan kickboxer, lost his MMA debut last year to Shinobu Ota. He last appeared on New Year’s Eve in a fight against Youtube Shibatar. The fight became incredibly controversial, as Shibatar’s armbar victory was rumored to be an orchestrated result from the two fighters.

Bout 6: Alan Yamaniha (19-10-4) vs. Yasuhiro Kawamura (13-7-1) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Alan Yamaniha will look to return to the win column when he faces RIZIN newcomer Yasuhiro Kawamura.

Yamaniha has appeared four times in RIZIN since his 2021 promotional debut, winning in two of those instances. His last fight saw him lose to veteran Yuki Motoya in a decision result. Nearly seven months removed from that result, Yamaniha will fight to get back to his winning ways.

Kawamura has mostly been seen competing in Pancrase and Fighting NEXUS. He became a Fighting NEXUS champion in 2021, submitting Keita Fukushima in the second round of a fight. He has since defended that belt once, handing RIZIN alum Takuma Sudo his first pro loss with a darce choke in August.

Bout 7: Uoi Fullswing (23-12-5) vs. Yang Ji-yong (5-0) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Korean prospect Yang Ji-yong will make his second RIZIN appearance this weekend, facing veteran Uoi Fullswing.

Yang joined the RIZIN roster this year with a record of four wins. He was originally scheduled to headline RIZIN 36 in July against former champion Kai Asakura. However, after Asakura was pulled from the card, Yang was instead matched against Shoji.

Yang prevailed in that fight, securing a third-round rear naked choke submission win.

Fullswing has struggled greatly in recent years. He has won just one of his last seven fights, including four RIZIN appearances. His last fight was a decision defeat against Kazuma Kuramoto in May.

Bout 8: Yusaku Nakamura (16-9-1) vs. Takaki Soya (12-4-1) (126 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Looking to keep his winning streak going, Takaki Soya will meet Yusaku Nakamura on Sunday night.

Soya is currently on a three-fight streak of finish wins. This run includes a great pause between the first two wins and the most recent one, as Soya had to briefly leave the sport to deal with issues surrounding his Crohn’s Disease. His return in April was just as explosive as his previous bouts, putting away Nobuyoshi Nakatsukasa in the second round with punches.

Nakamura will be searching for his first win since 2019 in this bout. He has lost three fights since then in the RIZIN ring. His last fight was more than a year ago when he was finished by Yuki Ito.

Bout 9: Jin Aoi (9-5-1) vs. Hiroaki Suzuki (2-2) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Kickboxer-turned-MMA fighter Hiroaki Suzuki will face Jin Aoi as part of Sunday’s card.

Suzuki has fought for RIZIN since debuting in MMA last year. Before then, he had a kickboxing and Muay Thai career that included appearances in ONE Championship.

Suzuki’s MMA career has had its ups and downs. His two wins thus far have both come via finish. But he enters this weekend after recently becoming the first person to lose to Ren Hiramoto in an MMA bout.

Aoi is fighting in RIZIN for the first time in over a year. He is coming back after taking a win and a loss in DEEP Impact this year.

Bout 10: Minowaman Z (65-44-8) vs. Samurai Mark Hunt (16-12) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Veteran Minowaman Z will take on returning heavyweight Samurai Mark Hunt this weekend.

Minowaman Z, a multi-decade MMA veteran that has fought in Pancrase and Pride FC extensively, will be making his second RIZIN appearance. He has undergone a name change since his last fight, adding a “Z” to the end of his already-known Minowaman alias.

Minowaman Z’s last fight was his RIZIN debut, where sumo wrestler Tsuyoshi Sudario stopped him in the first round with leg kicks.

Kiyoshi Kuwabara, also known as Samurai Mark Hunt, is appearing for the first time since August 2018. His last fight was his sole RIZIN appearance thus far, suffering a first-round finish loss to UFC alum Roque Martinez.

Bout 11: SARAMI (16-13) vs. Laura Fontoura (7-1) (108 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Both hunting for their first RIZIN win, SARAMI and Laura Fontoura will face off.

Fontoura joined RIZIN earlier this year to compete in their eight-woman grand prix. She lost in the opening round of the tournament, getting submitted by current RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion Seika Izawa.

Fontoura previously had seven wins as a pro, including a victory against RIZIN alum Andy Nguyen.

SARAMI is the current Shooto Japan Atomweight Champion. She lost her RIZIN debut in April, dropping a decision to 2017 RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix winner Kanna Asakura.

Bout 12: Callyu Gibrainn (5-2) vs. Satoshi Kamiyama (0-1) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Fighting for his first MMA win, sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter Satoshi Kamiyama will face Callyu Gibrainn.

Kamiyama, also known as Takakenshin, moved to MMA this year. His first MMA fight didn’t go his way, getting finished by veteran Hideki Sekine.

Gibrainn is also coming off a loss, having been submitted in September by Shoma Shibisai at RIZIN 38. He had some momentum before then, earning two wins in MMA and kickboxing each.

Bout 13: Yuki Motoya (31-10) vs. Kazuma Kuramoto (10-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Veteran Yuki Motoya will take on Kazuma Kuramoto in the co-main event.

Motoya has put together a trio of wins since late 2021. This year he beat Alan Yamaniha and accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler Shinobu Ota.

Kuramoto will be looking to close out his year with a third consecutive victory. His last fight came against Uoi Fullswing, who he overcame in May. Three months before then, Kuramoto returned to the win column with a quick finish over Kenji Kato.

Bout 14: Satoshi Yamasu (13-6) vs. Ren Hiramoto (1-2) (146 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Ren Hiramoto will get the chance to even his MMA record this weekend when he takes on former DEEP Impact Featherweight Champion Satoshi Yamasu.

Hiramoto, a 24-year-old athlete, switched from kickboxing to MMA in late 2020. His MMA career struggled right out of the gates, as he lost fights to Kyohei Hagiwara and Chihiro Suzuki.

But things finally started to go Hiramoto’s way in July, as he was able to pick up a split decision victory over Hiroaki Suzuki in the main event of RIZIN 38.

This weekend is a massive step up in competition for Hiramoto. Yamasu is significantly more experienced than any of Hiramoto’s previous opponents, having fought nearly 20 times since his 2013 pro debut.

Yamasu debuted for RIZIN in 2020 and has fought for them three times since. He last competed in March, when he submitted Kyohei Hagiwara with an armbar from a triangle position.

This weekend will be another big test for Hiramoto. If he wins, the perception of his skill level within MMA will receive a big boost. But if he loses, his record will move to an ugly one win and three losses. The pressure is certainly on the prolific, controversial kickboxer in this main event fight.

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