Rizin Fighting Federation has rekindled the fighting spirit of Pride FC in Japan, bringing in fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, and Kazushi Sakuraba. The foundation of the promotion, however, is its eight-man Grand Prix.
Rizin has built its Grand Prix not by signing all the fighters it can find, but by inviting fighters from partnering promotions around the globe to send their fighters to compete. Rizin’s first Grand Prix winner was Bellator’s King Mo Lawal.
Returning to the Grand Prix format in 2016, Rizin president and former Pride executive Nobuyuki Sakakibara said that the first round of the 2016 Grand Prix will begin in September and conclude with the promotion’s big New Year’s event.
Unlike the Pride days, however, Sakakibara says the ultimate goal is to convince the MMA world’s juggernaut, the UFC, to send its champions to compete in a Rizin Grand Prix.
Check out this exclusive video footage of Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s recent luncheon with MMAWeekly.com and other members of the media…