Everyone’s favorite Japanese MMA promotion, RIZIN, has announced four fights for a double header of cards in back to back days. RIZIN 22: Starting Over and RIZIN 23: Calling Over was announced with a press release this morning with four fights on each card. They are scheduled to take place in Yokohama, Japan with crowd But at 50% capacity. The two cards will take place on August 9th and 10th.
RIZIN 22: Starting Over
Rizin 22 is the first of the cards and has four of its fights announced. Naoki Inoue (13-2) will take on Shooto Watanabe (20-4-6 1 NC) on the card. “I am very grateful for RIZIN and people who worked hard to make this happen, I look to put on a great fight an inspire those who are suffering from the pandemic and storms in Japan,” said Inoue of the return of RIZIN.
Watanabe is excited to get back to action and take on such a tough opponent as well. “I am NEXT FIGHTING Champion Watanabe. Inoue is a very good and tough fighter, but I have my magical choke to back me up. I look forward in beating such a tough opponent and enjoy Yokohama’s food.”
Next on the card, Tetsuya Seki (12-6-1) takes his nine fight win streak and will fight Yojiro Uchimura (17-13-3). Seki is excited to be part of RIZIN. “I’m the ZST champion. I hear that this is a starting over event for RIZIN, I plan to add the fuel to RIZIN’s fire so please look forward for my performance.”
Uchimura is ready simply excited to show his skills and the excitement of RIZIN off to the world. “I would like to show what RIZIN is and what Uchimura is all about.”
The third bout for RIZIN 22 is a women’s Super Atomweight fight between former champion, Kanna Asakura (16-4) and Mizuki Furuse (7-6). While Furuse has significantly less fights than Asakura, she’s excited to get such a unique test from the former amateur Shooto champion. “This will be the first time I will be facing somebody younger and inexperienced than me. I would like to be a great obsticle to this up and coming talent and put on a good fight.”
Furuse sees this as an opportunity to get closer to the belt. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to fight on such a big stage. I am sitting here with confidence that I can beat Kanna Asakura. I look forward to making myself a name and becoming recognized.”
The last bout announced for RIZIN 22 puts Yusuke Yachi against Roberto Satoshi Souza (8-2). Yachi says, “Putting on events during such times may have several opinions, but as long as I’m going to do this, I want to make sure to put on my best performance, and deliver hope and inspiration to the Japanese fans.” He continues, “I’ve been collaborating with several traditional martial artists on my youtube channel, and I’ve been learning several things. Some may be useful in MMA and I have been trying to convert them into my fight style.”
Souza is our to prove people wrong this fight. “I will put on a good fight. Please believe in me.” He plans to learn from his last fight. “My last performance was embarrassing. I couldn’t end my career like this. But now I am very motivated and I don’t want to quit, I want to keep going until I make it to the top. There was much to learn from that loss.”
RIZIN 23: Calling Over
In addition to RIZIN 22, four bouts for RIZIN 23 were announced as well. Seiichiro Ito (12-3-2) will fight Makoto Takahashi (10-1-1). Ito returns after a 16 month layoff and is ready to get back to action. “I will believe in myself and what I’ve worked for will lead me to good results. I plan to put on the fastest pace and greatest performance in the event.”
Takahashi is thankful to have such a great opponent to fight with. “I am happy to be back on such a big stage. Ito, thank you so much for becoming my stepping stone. I would like to show my new move, super special stomping stone.”
Next, the former DEEP champion, Yuki Motoya (24-8) has a great fight with Mamoru Uoi (22-8-5). Motoya is ready to get down to business and doesn’t care who his opponent is. “My opponent be said that he’s a gimme. But I no matter who my opponent is, I look to win in an impressive way.”
Uoi is ready to get back to winning. He is grateful for a great opportunity to get his name back in the W column. “My last few fights have not been good. I have been defeated in interesting ways. I still don’t know why I go the offer against such a great fighter Motoya, but I will work hard with the time I have left, and will prove to everybody that I belong here.”
Third fight on RIZIN 23 has a champion versus champion bout between former Shooto champion, Yutaka Saito (17-4-2) and former Rebel FC champ, Kazumasa Majima (14-1). Saito is proud to represent Shooto and plans on showing they have some of the best fighters in the world. “I am very grateful for Shooto to send me out in good will. I think that I can show my skills and make the division much more interesting.”
Majima is excited to join the RIZIN roster. “I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity during tough times. This is my first fight in RIZIN but I think my addition will make RIZIN’s featherweight divison much more interesting. Saito is the Shooto Chamopion and is a great fighter, but I think I can beat him and I can prove my ability.”
And the main event of the double header stacks up Kai Asakura (14-2) against Hiromasa Ougikubo (20-4-2). Ougikubo is ready for anything against the former champ for the vacant belt. “It has been a long journey but I feel that I have finally came to where I need to be. I will show everything I’ve got, and I will beat Kai Asakura. Asakura, let’s put on a good fight.” He continues, “I’m struggling with my youtube account. It may be time to retreat. My plan was to have 30000 subscribers in 3 days, but after 4 months, I’m still at 4000.”
After losing he’s belt to the now-UFC signed Manel Knape, Asakura thinks we’re in for a treat with the best version of himself. “I am very happy to be able to fight. I’ve learned so much from my last fight and I know that I’ve gotten better. I know must win this fight for the future of RIZIN and the future of Japanese MMA. I am determined to win this belt.”
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.