Heath Herring in for Shane Carwin, King Mo vs Cro Cop added to Rizin FF
Former UFC heavyweight title contender Shane Carwin was scheduled to make his return to MMA at the year end RIZIN Fighting Federation event in Japan.
Carwin has since withdrew from the contest and has been replaced by another blast from the past, Heath Herring.
‘The Texas Crazy Horse’ Herring has not competed since UFC 87 in 2008 where he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Brock Lesnar.
Herring (28-14) will fight Amir Aliakbari (3-0) in a quarterfinal-round matchup at the upcoming Rizin FF 3 event.
Also, after competing on Friday night in Dublin, Ireland, ‘King Mo’ Muhammad Lawal will step in as a late replacement for Wanderlei Silva, taking on the legendary Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic. Lawal defeated Satoshi Ishii in the Bellator 169 main event.
The 14-man, 16-slot openweight tournament (Silva and Carwin – and thus Lawal and Herring – received first-round byes) kicked off on Sept. 25 at Rizin FF 2.
The bouts join previously announced quarterfinal-round matchups set for Rizin FF 3, which takes place Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Two days later, on New Year’s Eve, the semifinal round and tournament final take place at the same venue as part of Rizin FF 4.
Other grand-prix matchups include former sumo wrestling champion and super heavyweight Kaido Hoovelson (2-0) vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka (27-18-2). Additionally, sambo champion and Fedor Emelianenko protege Valentin Moldavsky (5-0) meets KSW vet Szymon Bajor (16-6).