TOKYO – November 13th, RIZIN announced the marquee matchup for their 5th and final event of the year. Keeping with the New Years' tradition, the event will be held at the Saitama Super Arena. RIZIN's first ever title holder, Kyoji Horiguchi, looks to reclaim his throne - 16 months removed from his shocking 67 second KO loss to current champion Kai Asakura.
RIZIN.26 will be taking place on December 31st (Tues) at the Saitama Super Arena. 5,000 spectators will be allowed inside to attend the event due to the governmental requirements on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kyoji Horiguchi (28-3) takes on Kai Asakura (16-2). After their first matchup serving as a non-title bout headliner for RIZIN 18 in Nagoya last year, Asakura stole the show; along with Horiguchi's 4 ½ year, 13 fight unbeaten streak. They were then scheduled to rematch at RIZIN 20 on New Year's, but a knee injury sustained by the former champ, and subsequent vacating of his RIZIN and Bellator 135lb titles allowed the uncrowned Asakura to make a legitimate claim to the title against Manel Kape. Despite coming up short, Asakura stayed busy, finishing fellow top contender Hiromasa Ougikubo with 30 seconds to spare in the opening spell of the bout. With wins over all other top bantamweights, these two warriors are looking to settle the score over who is the true champion.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that this New Year’s Eve will mark the 6th New Year’s Eve for RIZIN and due to the global situation, RIZIN will only host 1 day instead of the 3 day extravaganza as usual. Unlike the maximum of 5,000 spectator restriction which was enforced for RIZIN 24, RIAIN.26 will be allowed to have 50% capacity of the Arena.
“I’m very excited that this fight has finally been confirmed. Horiguchi is a globally respected fighter and he is very tough, but I have fought 4 times while he was injured and I am a much better fighter than last time so I plan to knock him out again. This fight will determine the best bantamweight in Japan so everybody stay tuned."
“I got finished when we last fought so I plan to get him back. I have been watching all of his fights and I do believe that he has evolved a lot. I feel obligated to deliver an exciting fight to the fans who waited for my return for a year."
Confirmed bouts for Yogibo presents RIZIN 26
Kai Asakura vs Kyoji Horiguchi
Yogibo presents RIZIN.25 complete fight order
66kg RIZIN Featherweight Championship (Elbows allowed) - Mikuru Asakura vs Yutaka Saito
61kg RIZIN MMA Rules (Elbows allowed) - Hiromasa Ougikubo vs Kenta Takizawa
77kg RIZIN MMA Rules (Elbows allowed) - Ryuichiro Sumimura vs “Let’s” Gota Yamashita
57kg RIZIN MMA Rules (Elbows allowed) - Tatsuki Saomoto vs Daichi Kitakata
Grappling Demonstration - Roberto Satoshi Souza • Kleber Koike • Hari Sakamoto • Misaki Akita
66kg RIZIN MMA Rules (Elbows allowed) - Yojiro Uchimura vs Kyohei Hagiwara
60.5kg RIZIN Kickboxing Rules - Taiga vs Yuma Yamahata
83kg RIZIN Kickboxing Rules - Hidenori Ebara vs Isami Sano
66kg RIZIN MMA Rules (Elbows allowed) - Kotetsu Boku vs Rikuto Shirakawa
53kg RIZIN Kickboxing Rules - Jin Mandokoro vs Syuto Sato
63kg RIZIN Kickboxing Rules - Shohei Asahara vs Yuma Yamaguchi
RIZIN.25 will be available on SkyperfectTV, and RIZIN LIVE PPV streaming at the following link. https://rizinff-live-eng.com/
Doors are expected to open at 12:30PM with Opening Ceremony at 2:00PM on Sunday, November 21st at the Osaka Jo Hall.