RIZIN 15 is around the corner and it looks to deliver another exciting round of matches again. The promotion’s first card will be live from Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, this weekend. This year the event will also feature boxing champion Manny Pacquiao ringside. He has signed with RIZIN to promote the organization in the Philippines and bring more young fighters.
The main event of RIZIN 15 is a rematch for the RIZIN Light Heavyweight Championship. The match pits Jiri Prochazka (23-3-1 MMA) against Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (21-8 MMA).
Both fighters met earlier at RIZIN’s 2015 Heavyweight Grand Prix finals where King Mo beat the Czech fighter. Lawal is 2-4 since the match and was most recently TKO’d by Liam McGeary in Bellator back in December.
In the co-main event, Kyoji Horiguchi (26-2 MMA) will fight fellow UFC veteran, Ben Nguyen (17-8 MMA). Nguyen stopped Ryan Benoit, Alp Ozkilic and former title challenger, Tim Elliot all in the first round during the American promotion.
On the other hand Horiguchi has 11 wins under his belt out of 12 outings. However, he failed to win UFC gold back in 2015 against Demetrious Johnson. Horiguchi won a Bantamweight Grand Prix, captured the title, and beat a King of Pancrase. He also beat Shooto champion and former UFC contender Ian McCall. He beat current Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell recently as well. The match was a rare promotion vs. promotion fight on New Year’s Eve of last year.
20-year-old, 29-0 kickboxer, Nasukawa will be in action this weekend. After losing to Floyd Mayweather in December, Nasukawa managed to bounce back at RISE World Series last month. He did so with a third-round KO.
Nasukawa will face Muay Thai champion and MMA dabbler, Fritz Aldin Biagtan. Pacquiao is supporting the Filipino fighter, who will be making his RIZIN debut.
DEEP lightweight champion, Koji Takeda (8-0 MMA) will put his unbeaten record on the line. He’ll be fighting former UFC competitor, Damien “Beatdown” Brown (18-12 MMA). After losing three fights in a row, Brown submitted Daron Cruickshank in his debut with Japanese promotion.
The ever-exciting Mikuru Asakura (9-1 MMA) will fight a young, unbeaten Luiz “Killer” Gustavo (9-0 MMA). This could very well be the “Fight of the Night”.
“Killer” beat fan-favorite Yusuke Yachi in the main event of RIZIN 12 last year.
Gustavo is not going to be the only representation of Evolucao Thai MMA this weekend. Christiano Frohlich (10-4 MMA) will also be making his promotional debut against Karl Albrektsson (8-2 MMA).
The event also features S-Cup standout and RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand-Prix runner up RENA Kubota (7-2 MMA). She might make her way back into the win column in MMA when she takes on Samantha Jean-Francois (3-5 MMA). Similarly, Manel Kape (12-4 MMA) will look to get a victory over former ZST champion Seiichiro Ito (12-2 MMA).
RIZIN 15 Fight Card
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Jiri Prochazka – RIZIN Light Heavyweight Championship
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Fritz Biagtan – Kickboxing
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ben Nguyen
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Roberto Satoshi Souza
Karl Albrektsson vs. Christiano Frolich
Rena Kubota vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
Mikuru Asakura vs. Luiz Gustavo
Kana Watanabe vs. Justyna Haba
Damien Brown vs. Koji Takeda
Manel Kape vs. Seiichiro Ito
Shinju Nozawa-Auclair vs. Saray Orozco
TAIGA Kawabe vs. Thallison Ferreira – Kickboxing