RIZIN is back this weekend, with plenty of familiar faces and some interesting matchmaking for a somewhat low-key card. This isn’t a major “Fight Festival“ type of card, but has some very good talent on it, and it’s very much worth your time.
Kanna Asakura (12-2) will take on one of the faces of the organization, Rena Kubota (7-1), This is a rematch from the women’s tournament finals, and it should be interesting to see what adjustments both fighters have made since. Asakura fought six times in 2017, and has shown herself to be a bulldozing grappler that uses great control and remains active at all times in hopes of finding a submission. Kubota remains a shootboxer first and foremost, with very good ground defense and lethal striking IQ. Asakura should have the advantage, but RENA might pull a rabbit out of a hat here.
Kyoji Horiguchi (24-2) continues to flourish after his departure from the UFC, as he faces former Ultimate Fighter contestant Hiromasa Ogikubo (17-3, 2 draws). Horiguchi has looked indestructible since his jump over to American Top Team and Ogikubo was an absolute threat in Shooto and Vale Tudo Japan well before his time on TUF. This is also a rematch of a previous Shooto bout from 2013, where Horiguchi won with an absolutely savage rear naked choke. Both have also improved substantially since they last fought, and this is easily one of the best matches composed of elite talent outside of the UFC or Bellator one could ask for right now.
Former UFC fighter Rin Nakai (20-2, 1 draw) takes on very talented veteran Shizuka Sugiyama (16-5, 1 draw), while former Jungle Fight champ Bruno Cappelozza (10-4) attempts to topple the still-improving Jiri Prochazka (20-3, 1 draw). Japanese war horse Satoru Kitaoka (41-16, 9 draws) welcomes Diego Brandão (22-12) to RIZIN’s brightly-lit ring, while the ghost of Takanori Gomi faces Melvin Guillard for reasons that are as of yet not entirely clear.
Also, Miyuu Yamamoto (1-3) faces another far more experienced fighter in Saori Ishioka (15-11) as Detroit Superstar Daron Cruickshank (20-10) gears up for a duel with Brazilian striker Tom Santos (10-5). In case you were wondering, Cruickshank is still awesome.
By the way, we did a Vivisection! It was awesome! Yay!
Full fight card is as follows:
Kanna Asakura vs Rena Kubota – 108lbs
Kyoji Horiguchi vs Hiromasa Ogikubo – 132lbs
Jiri Procházka vs Bruno Cappelozza – 205lbs
Takanori Gomi vs Melvin Guillard – 161lbs
Satoru Kitaoka vs Diego Brandão – 161lbs
Shoma Shibisai vs Unurjargal Boldpurev – 265lbs
Rin Nakai vs Shizuka Sugiyama – 126lbs
Tadaaki Yamamoto vs Thanongsaklek Tiger Muay Thai Top Noi – 130lbs
Daron Cruikshank vs Tom Santos – 154lbs
As a final note, please remember that all but the two women’s fights are to use the 10min first round + two 5 minute rounds format. The women’s fights will have the Unified Rules 3x5min format.
RIZIN FF 11 will be streaming live starting at 3:00am Sunday (Saturday night into Sunday morning), exclusively via FITE.tv. The event costs $19.99.