PhotoCred: RIZIN FF

Nobuyuki Sakakibara expects double the number of RIZIN events in 2022

2022 is expected to be the biggest year for RIZIN FF yet. With two new event types continuing onward, the overall output is set to increase.

RIZIN Founder and President Nobuyuki Sakakibara recently revealed the RIZIN Triggwe and Landmark series’. In a way equivalent to UFC’s fight night events, the events will be commonplace going forward.

“I’m thinking we’ll do seven of the numbered events which are primarily focused on the grand prixs, title fights, the more legitimate competition,” Sakakibara told MyMMANews on BROADENED HORIZIN. “Then on top of that, I’m thinking maybe four to five Landmarks and Triggers each per year which totals to maybe 15 to 17 events next year.”

The RIZIN boss is focusing heavily on atmospheric innovation with his new event types. The Landmark series, which debuted on Oct. 10 will be all about the location. Held in what was announced as an undisclosed location, Vol. 1 was revealed by Sakakibara to take place underneath the Tokyo Tower. He admits the entire point of the show was diminished in that way as the Tower didn’t want to overcrowd the four-fight card.

As for Trigger, debuting on Nov. 28, young, up-and-coming prospects hungry for their opportunities will make up the shows – in theory, one step away from the flagship numbered events. Triggers will have about the same amount of fights as the big RIZIN events with about 12 to 15.

To the surprise of many, Trigger will be held in a cage rather than a ring.

“My personal opinion is that I believe MMA should be done in a ring,” Sakakibara said. “I’m kind of obsessed with MMA in the ring. Obviously, the fighters say that fighting in the ring and fighting in the cage, the tactics are different. You fight differently, you come in with a different game plan, everything changes. So I understand that aspect.

“I’m not denying or hating on the cage whatsoever. Obviously, the cage is more common internationally. It’s more accepted and it’s become more world standard for the sport, and I understand that. But when you think about it from a spectator’s point of view, the ring is much easier to watch. Then what happens in the ring I believe is that more action happens in the ring. It creates more drama, it creates more excitement for the people who are watching the competition. That’s just my thought and that’s why I believe MMA should be done in the ring.

“For Trigger, if this is going to motivate the competitors and the new prospects out there to be able to compete in the cage under the RIZIN banner, that’s fine with me,” he added. “There are obviously a lot of fans who are shouting out that they want RIZIN to be in the cage and we kind of want to show that we’re not just simply hating on the cage, we’re not against it. We believe the ring can create a better storyline for us. But again, we want to tell everybody and show that we’re not hating on the cage. We’re willing to give an opportunity to the upcoming fighters to perform at their best where they feel comfortable at.”

With 2021 and the current bantamweight grand prix wrapping up, Sakakibara also noted that next year it’s likely they’ll kick off a tournament for their 145-pound featherweight class. In a perfect world, RIZIN will be able to bring over some of Bellator’s roster with the aid of Scott Coker, notes Sakakibara.



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Drake Riggs
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.