RIZIN 45 will be an ambitious New Year’s Eve event from the Japanese fighting-based promotion. The Dec. 31 event will involve kickboxing and MMA live from the iconic Saitama Super Arena. Two MMA title fights have been booked.
Juan Archuleta vs. Kai Asakura
The main event will be a bantamweight title showdown between Juan Archuleta and Kai Asakura. American athlete “The Spaniard” Archuleta picked up the RIZIN title earlier this year and is now looking to add his first title defense. Additionally, the 36-year-old athlete is a former Bellator MMA world champion.
Japan’s Kai Asakura is a fan favorite. He and his brother are known for their exciting and tactical style of fighting. Throughout his career, the majority of his wins were captured by way of knockout or TKO. Asakura is coming off a of knockout by way of a knee to the body to earn his title shot.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto Shinryu
The co-main event will introduce the RIZIN flyweight championship between Kyoji Horiguchi and Makoto Shinryu. Japan’s Horiguchi is a highly popular fighter who once held simultaneous titles in Bellator and RIZIN. During his UFC run, he merely sustained one loss to division king Demetrious Johnson.
Makoto Shinryu is riding an impressive 10-fight wins streak to earn this opportunity. He is a dangerous grappler who has won four of his last six matches via submission.
The two athletes met earlier this year for the inaugural flyweight title, but the match ended in an unfortunate eye poke just 25 seconds into the bout. The bout was called off officially as a no-contest. Upcoming on Dec. 31, they will finish what they started.
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. John Dodson
Two former TUF alumni Hiromasa Ougikubo and John Dodson are set to face off from Japan at RIZIN 45. Japan’s Ougikubo was on The Ultimate Fighter in 2016 coached by Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo. While Dodson was seen on TUF in 2011 with coaches Michael Bisping and Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
The Japanese-born fighter captured the 2021 RIZIN bantamweight grand prix but has since earned three losses. Dodson won two bouts in RIZIN and has kept busy on the side with BKFC matches.
Rukiya Anpo vs. Minoru Kimura
RIZIN will also be showcasing some world-class kickboxing with Rukiya Anpo and Minoru Kimura. The Japanese-Brazilian Minoru Kimura was a K-1 world grand prix champion in 2020 and has 36 victories in the sport.
Rukiya Anpo has a Kyokushin karate background and brings electric kicks to each kickboxing match. He is a former K-1 super lightweight world champion. He has remained unbeaten since his loss to Masaaki Noiri in 2021. Since then he has earned four victories and a draw against Buakaw Banchamek.
RIZIN New Year’s Eve
The fight card will also feature a bantamweight matchup between Shinobu Ota and Ryusei Ashizawa. Plus, former sumo wrestler Tsuyoshi Sudario will meet Mikio Ueda in a heavyweight showdown. Also, Kleber Koike Erbst will face off against Yutaka Saito in the featherweight division.
When it comes to combat sports, New Year’s Eve in Japan had some of the most legendary moments in combat sports history. RIZIN 45 will broadcast from Saitama, Japan on Dec. 31 live from the Saitama Super Arena.
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