Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN FF are set to hold their first event of 2020 on February 22nd at the Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.
RIZIN 21 will be the first time that the promotion has held an event this early in the year. Usually, the promotion holds its first event in April during the sakura season, which is when Japan’s iconic cherry blossom trees bloom.
So far, 11-fights have been announced with the card currently being made up of seven MMA and five kickboxing bouts.
Former UFC fighter and former Sengoku Featherweight Champion Masanori Kanehara will make his promotional debut with the 37-year-old taking on the USA’s Victor Henry.
The veteran fighter is keen to show fans that his best days are not behind him.
“I want to make people say ‘Kanehara is at his prime’ instead of ‘Kanehara was at his prime,” he said in a press release put out by the company.
Another fighter making his debut at RIZIN 21 is 22-year-old Naoki Inoue. The former UFC flyweight will be competing in the promotions loaded bantamweight division. He will fight Australia’s Trent Girdham.
“I’m honored to be fighting in the stacked RIZIN Bantamweight division. I’ve cornered my teammate Ulka Sasaki’s fights a few time and I have been wanting to fight on such a great platform in front of many fans so I am very excited that this is finally happening!” Inoue said.
The main event of the night will feature Japan’s Mikuru Asakura taking on Mexico’s Daniel Salas. Asakura is a riding a seven-fight win streak and was in fine form at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show where he defeated John Macapa.
The card as it currently stands is:
Mikuru Asakura vs Daniel Salas
Vugar Keramov vs Kyle Aguon
Victor Henry vs Masanori Kanehara
Trent Girdham vs Naoki Inoue
Kintaro vs Kenji Kato
Roque Martinez vs Hideki Sekine
Marcos de Souza vs Falco Neto
YUYA vs KOUKI
Kenichi Takeuchi vs Naoya
Kousuke Jitukata vs Ryo Sakai
Masaji Tozuka vs Masahiro Ozawa
Henry Cejas vs SEIDO