RIZIN FF: CHARLES “KRAZY HORSE” BENNETT RETURNS TO JAPAN, WILL FACE MINORU KIMURA IN MMA ACTION IN TOKYO ON SEPTEMBER 25
TOKYO – August 18, 2016 – RIZIN FF, the combat sports federation headed by former PRIDE Fighting Championships boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced today the addition of a featherweight (145 pounds) Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) matchup between former PRIDE FC and EliteXC star Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (29-30-2) and K-1 kickboxing KO artist Minoru Kimura (MMA: 0-0, Kickboxing: 21-6-1, 15 KO’s) to the federation’s already stacked Grand Prix event in Tokyo on Sunday, Sept. 25.
A 17-year veteran of the sport with an aggressive, crowd-pleasing style of fighting, the 5-foot-8, 36-year-old Bennett of Ocala, Fla. put himself on the map 16 years ago with a first round (1:55) KO (punch) of Yoshiro Maeda at PRIDE Bushido 7 in Tokyo on May 22, 2005.
Bennett’s biggest mark in the sport to date was arguably his one-punch, first round (3:43), upset KO of former UFC and Strikeforce star K.J. Noons, who went into the matchup a heavy favorite over Bennett. The high-profile bout took place at EliteXC: Destiny, the first-ever, live SHOWTIME televised event in MMA history.
Bennett is coming off a spectacular, 43 second submission (heel hook) of Paul Rodriguez in Kissimmee, Fla. on May 14.
Ranked as high as number two in the world in kickboxing’s featherweight division as of the close of 2015, the 5-foot-8, 22-year-old Kimura, who permanently relocated to Japan at the age of three, after being born in Curitiba, Brazil to a fourth generation, Brazilian-Japanese mother and a Brazilian-Italian father, will make his debut under MMA rules.
The feisty Fighting Kairos Gym competitor who has captivated fight fans with his raucous behavior, has defeated a number of noteworthy adversaries in the kickboxing ring, includingKaew Fairtex as well as Japanese stars Hideaki Yamazaki and Masaaki Noiri, to reach elite status in the sport.
In his last start, Kimura picked up a unanimous decision victory over “Noman” in a K-1 World Grand Prix tournament reserve bout on June 24.
The RIZIN FF event will be headlined by the kick-off of the much-anticipated, 16-man open weight tournament.
MMA legends Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (MMA: 31-11-1, 1 NC; Kickboxing: 23-8, 12 KO’s) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) are amongst the nine competitors that have been announced as tournament participants. The tournament’s first stage matchups will be announced soon.
RIZIN FF World Grand Prix 2016: Opening Round
Updated Fight Card
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Kazuyuki Fujita vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Baruto Kaito vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Jiri Prochazka vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Teodorasu Aukstuolis vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Karl Albrektsson vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Valentine Moldavski vs. TBA
Open Weight Tournament Bout: Amir Aliakbari vs. TBA
Lightweight: Daron Cruickshank vs. Andy Souwer
Heavyweight: Gabi Garcia vs. Destanie Yarbrough
Strawweight: Kanako Murata vs. Kyra Batara
Weight TBD: Rena Kubota vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
Weight TBD: Asen Yamamoto vs. Kizaemon Saiga
Featherweight: Charles Bennett vs. Minoru Kimura