Rizin Fighting Federation announced nine additional bouts for Rizin.14, which takes place on Monday, Dec. 31, from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The biggest and greatest bout announced is a clash of 2017 Rizin bantamweight world grand prix champion Kyoji Horiguchi and Bellator bantamweight champ Darrior Caldwell for the inaugural RIZIN 61-kilogram title. Horiguchi, 28, has won ten straight fights under MMA rules, including wins over Ian McCall, Hiromasa Ogikubo, Shintaro Ishiwatari, Yuki Motoya, and Ali Bagautinov. Caldwell is riding a four-fight winning streak with victories over Eduardo Dantas, Joe Taimanglo, Noad Lahat, and Leandro Higo. Outside of the UFC’s bantamweight division, there are two of the very best in the world.
Speaking of the UFC, recent cast-offs Damien Brown, Justin Scoggins, and Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki will make their Rizin debuts on New Year’s Eve. Australia’s Brown makes his debut following three straight loses against another former UFC veteran Daron Cruickshank, who has won four straight fights. One of Japan’s top flyweights Yuki Motoya puts his four-fight winning streak on the line against Justin Scoggins, who has lost three straight. Sasaki makes his return to Japan against one of the promotion’s most exciting prospects, Manel Kape.
Elsewhere on the card, Shoot Boxing superstar Rena Kubota makes her return to MMA when she faces France’s Samantha Jean-Francois, top Japanese lightweight Yusuke Yachi welcomes former UFC fighter Johnny Case to the promotion, Jiří Procházka puts his six-fight winning streak on the line against former Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton, Nobumitsu “Tyson” Osawa meets Azerbaijan’s Tofik Musaev, and women’s flyweight prospect Shinju Nozawa-Auclair takes on Poland’s Justyna Zofia Haba.