RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara is planning something “really weird” for his promotion’s New Year’s Eve show.
This wouldn’t be the first time. Last year, RIZIN hosted Floyd Mayweather Jr., who took on Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition boxing bout that the undefeated legend won with ease. Now, it looks like RIZIN is planning something even wilder for this year’s show. However, it won’t be mixed martial arts (MMA) or boxing related.
Speaking after RIZIN 18, Sakakibara teased the announcement, which he described as “quite strange,” and would be unrelated to MMA, professional wrestling, or boxing. He also noted it likely won’t involve Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. He did say, however, that names like Oscar De La Hoya and even Conor McGregor could be involved.
“It’s quite strange,” Sakakibara said (via Tokyo Sports). “It ’s a new innovation. I feel like creating a new competition that is different from mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and professional wrestling.
“Mayweather had a surprise appearance last year, but it is difficult to develop something new from there. Pacquiao is also an active title holder. It’s more of a stakeholder who contributes to mixed martial arts and innovation than the two [boxers], like Connor McGregor or Oscar De La Hoya.”
In regards to McGregor, Sakakibara added, “We can do something together.” He touted McGregor as “the most famous mixed fighter in the world.” While it’s unlikely McGregor could participate in something with another promotion without the blessing of the UFC, we do know the Irishman will commit to something even if he’s contractually unable to do so.
What do you think RIZIN is planning, keeping names like McGregor and De La Hoya in mind?