UFC sign Rizin FF champion, Japanese MMA star Kai Asakura to multi fight deal: ‘I’m giving up my belt’

UFC sign Rizin FF champion Kai Asakura to multi fight deal I am giving up my belt

The UFC have bolstered their ranks once more overnight, with Rizin FF bantamweight champion and Japanese mixed martial arts star, Kai Asakura confirming his move to the promotion overnight. 

Asakura, the current undisputed bantamweight titleholder, holds an impressive 21-4 professional mixed martial arts record, most recently landed the division crown in a vacant title fight win over former Bellator MMA champion, Juan Archuleta with a second round TKO win at the end of last year.

Kai Asakura

Kai Asakura confirms move to the UFC overnight

And long-linked with a potential move overseas to the UFC, Asakura confirmed over the course of last night in an announcement that he would be vacating his championship title at the bantamweight limit and is set to enter the Octagon.

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Kai Asakura Rizin FF

“I am giving up my belt and going to the UFC,” Kai Asakura said at last night’s Rizin FF event. “I think there will be an announcement from the UFC soon, but it’s official that I’m going. This should be exciting new, but right now, I feel very lonely. I believe that thanks to Rizin. I, who was originally no one, was recognized as a fighter, a martial artist, a man.”

“And last year on New Year’s Eve, it was Mr. Sakakibara who accepted my selfish request to go to the UFC without a single [title] defense,” Kai Asakura explained. “I would like to thank Mr, Sakakibara from the bottom of my heart for his support. Thank you very much.” 

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Kai Sakakibara

Asakura, 30, has landed notable professional victories over the likes of Hiromosa Ougikubo, as well as former UFC title challenger, Kyoji Horiguchi, and Angolan bantamweight star, Manel Kape during his run with the Japan-based, Rizin FF organization. 

Who would you like to see Kai Asakura fight in his first outing in the UFC?