画像: Khabib Nurmagomedov to serve as Team Bellator captain, and corner Gadzi Rabadanov against Koji Takeda as the 5th RIZIN x Bellator matchup.

Khabib Nurmagomedov to serve as Team Bellator captain, and corner Gadzi Rabadanov against Koji Takeda as the 5th RIZIN x Bellator matchup. Mark Hunt to corner Tsuyoshi Sudario’s opponent, Junior Tafa. 4 additional bouts announced for RIZIN.40.

Tokyo - November 11th, RIZIN a press conference was held to announce additional matchups for the Shonan Beauty Clinic presents RIZIN.40 card at the Saitama Super Arena.

Tsuyoshi Sudario (6-1, 6-1 RIZIN FF) vs Junior Tafa (2-0, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 120kg

画像: Tsuyoshi Sudario (6-1, 6-1 RIZIN FF) vs Junior Tafa (2-0, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 120kg

MMA 3 wins removed from his first professional loss, Sudario Tsuyoshi has received his demands - matchups against international competition. With finishes against SAINT, Hideki ‘Shrek’ Sekine and Janos Csukas in under 8 minutes total ring time, Sudario’s blaze through the heavyweight ranks continues against Glory veteran, Junior Tafa. The younger brother of UFC heavyweight Justin Tafa, Junior holds a 23-5 kickboxing & Muay Thai record - with 19 wins coming by KO/TKO. The heavy-handed big man from down under made his MMA debut just 4 months ago, scoring 2 wins by KO. Will Sudario be forced to use his entire skillset to get the win, or will the dangerous newcomer bring a stop to a streaking Sudario?

Naoki Inoue (17-3, 5-1 RIZIN FF) vs Kenta Takizawa (13-8, 3-3 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA

画像1: Naoki Inoue (17-3, 5-1 RIZIN FF) vs Kenta Takizawa (13-8, 3-3 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA
画像2: Naoki Inoue (17-3, 5-1 RIZIN FF) vs Kenta Takizawa (13-8, 3-3 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA

Coming back from a 12-month layoff, the Grand Prix semifinalist was originally scheduled to face Kenta Takizawa at RIZIN.37 last July, but withdrew due to a knee injury. Having suffered his first defeat in the RIZIN ring in an upset against Hiromasa Ougikubo, Inoue is primed to produce another stellar and slick performance against a well-rounded opponent. Kenta Takizawa scored a pair of signature career wins in last year’s Bantamweight Grand Prix, beating the iconic Masakazu Imanari and stopping two-weight DEEP champion Yuki Motoya in half a round. Now, both semifinalists will meet to determine the next rising star of the division.

Yuki Motoya (32-10, 9-5 1NC RIZIN FF) vs Rogerio Bontorin (16-4, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA

画像: Yuki Motoya (32-10, 9-5 1NC RIZIN FF) vs Rogerio Bontorin (16-4, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA

At the end of 2019, Motoya’s career appeared to be on a downturn, having lost 3 fights in a row including a sudden submission loss to Patchy Mix in just 97 seconds. 11 fights and 3 years later, He has strung together a 9-2 record including a 4 fight win streak, with wins over fellow Grand Prix quarter finalists Kintaro and Alan Yamaniha, as well as decorated wrestlers Shinobu Ota and Kazuma Kuramoto. He now faces his first international opponent since that loss to Mix, in the form of Rogerio Bontorin. A 6-fight UFC veteran who was once scheduled to face former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape, Bontorin finally makes his official Bantamweight debut. With 11 of his 14 finishes coming by submission, it should prove to be a grappler's delight when these two warriors clash.

Koji Takeda (15-3, 5-3 RIZIN FF) vs Gadzi Rabadanov (18-4-2, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 71kg MMA

画像: Koji Takeda (15-3, 5-3 RIZIN FF) vs Gadzi Rabadanov (18-4-2, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 71kg MMA

Former DEEP Lightweight Champion Koji Takeda faces his 4th straight international opponent. Takeda appears to have hit a meanstreak, with 2 of his last 3 wins coming by stoppage (compared to 2 in his previous 9). He will need to rely on all of his experience up to this point when he takes on Team Khabib’s Gadzi Rabadanov. The Gorilla Fighting Interim Lightweight Champion and Eagle FC Lightweight title challenger has just 1 loss in his last 12 fights dating back to March of 2017. With 11 finishes in 18 victories, Rabadanov has the ability to finish the fight on the feet or from the ground. Be on the lookout for the 5th and final matchup of the RIZIN vs. Bellator series.

Tsuyoshi Sudario vs Junior Tafa [120kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

画像: Tsuyoshi Sudario vs Junior Tafa [120kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

Tsuyoshi Sudario

“I was injured last year and couldn't fight on New Year's Eve, so I'm looking forward to finally being able to this year. I've heard that his opponent is Mark Hunt's disciple. He's a striker and certainly has a good punch, but he's going to smash it unilaterally more than his last game!”

Junior Tafa

“I’m very excited, I’m a big fan of RIZIN and a bigger fan of Japan. I may not want to go back home . My opponent is a strong guy, looks nicely seasoned . The way I like it … I’m hungry! My message to Japanese fans - I'll be bringing the fireworks in time for NYE .”

Naoki Inoue vs Kenta Takizawa [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

画像: Naoki Inoue vs Kenta Takizawa [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

Naoki Inoue

“Takizawa, thank you for waiting! I respect you and will get the finish with a KO or submission. I want to win and move on to the next one.”

Kenta Takizawa

“It's been a year since I fought. I was going to face him on July 31st, but now I finally will. I got stronger after practicing hard for a year. I will do my best to show ‘Kenta Takizawa's MMA’, so please look forward to it!”

Yuki Motoya vs Rogerio Bontorin [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

画像: Yuki Motoya vs Rogerio Bontorin [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

Yuki Motoya

“My opponent is a former UFC fighter, so I think it's a good opportunity to show my strength.There are many great cards in this event, but I want to make it a good match with an impact.”

Rogerio Bontorin

“Fighting for Rizin is a big honor for me. I have all the respect for Japanese MMA, I`ve grown up watching Pride and I always wanted to fight in a big promotion in Japan. Now it's time to make it happen and I`ll give it my all to conquer the japanese audience and put on great performances. To be honest I don't know much about my opponent yet. We`re starting the fight camp and my trainers will watch him and make a great game plan. I have respect for him and his record but I`m coming to be a champion and he's the first step in this direction. NYE is a legendary date and I`m coming to Japan to give the fans a great show.”

Koji Takeda vs Gadzi Rabadanov [71kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

画像: Koji Takeda vs Gadzi Rabadanov [71kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

Koji Takeda

“All I can do is fight, so I want to look for the finish. When it comes to this 5-on-5 competition, other fighters have won the Grand Prix or have belts, but I don't have anything. So I want to fight in the first clash of the promotions.”

Gadzi Rabadanov

“It is a childhood dream come true to fight in Japan at the legendary Saitama Super Arena. I’m very excited and I know I have a tough opponent, who always leaves everything in the ring. Expect a masterpiece from me, it will be a memorable fight.”

Confirmed Bouts

画像: Confirmed Bouts

RIZIN.40 - Saitama Super Arena, December 31st

Roberto Satoshi Souza vs AJ McKee [71kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Kleber Koike vs Patricio Pitbull [66kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Soo Chul Kim vs Juan Archuleta [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs Kyoji Horiguchi [57kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Koji Takeda vs Gadzi Rabadanov [71kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Seika Izawa vs Si Woo Park [49kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Tsuyoshi Sudario vs Junior Tafa [120kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Johnny Case vs Luiz Gustavo [71kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Beynoah vs Patrick Usami [66kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Naoki Inoue vs Kenta Takizawa [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Yuki Motoya vs Rogerio Bontorin [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]
Hideo Tokoro vs John Dodson [61kg - RIZIN MMA rules]

RIZIN.40 doors are expected to open at 11:30PM, with a 1:30pm start time on December 31st (Sat) in Saitama.

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