RIZIN FF: Three New Bouts Announced For New Year’s Kick-Off Event
RIZIN FF Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara (center) with fighters (from left to right) Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura, Kazuyuki Miyata, Hinata Watanabe and Ken Hasegawa.
RIZIN FF ANNOUNCES THREE NEW STAR-STUDDED BOUTS
FOR NEW YEAR’S KICK-OFF EXTRAVAGANZA IN TOKYO
CATCHWEIGHT (178 POUNDS): BRENNAN WARD VS. KEN HASEGAWA
LIGHTWEIGHT: HINATA WATANABE VS. KAZUYUKI MIYATA
HEAVYWEIGHT: KIRILL SIDELNIKOV VS. CARLOS TOYOTA
TOKYO – December 10, 2015 – RIZIN FF, the all-new fight promotion led by former PRIDE FC headNobuyuki Sakakibara, announced at a press conference today, three additional, star-studded bouts – two that will be contested under Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) rules and one that will be contested under mixed rules – for its highly-anticipated, three-day kick-off event, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena.
Bellator knockout artist Brennan “Irish” Ward will square off with undefeated Japanese prospectKen Hasegawa in a heavyweight MMA rules bout on Dec. 31.
R.I.S.E. champion and K-1 standout Hinata Watanabe will battle Kazuyuki Miyata in a lightweight (155 pounds) mixed rules matchup on Dec. 29, that will be comprised of one or more rounds in which the fighters compete exclusively under kickboxing rules, and one or more rounds in which they fight exclusively under MMA rules. A more specific format for this bout will be announced soon.
Following a five-year hiatus from the ring, one-time, fast-rising prospect Kirill Sidelnikov will return to the squared circle to face off with Carlos Toyota on Dec. 29.
Brennan Ward vs. Ken Hasegawa
Ward (12-3 MMA) of Waterford, Conn.is riding a three-fight win streak, finishing all of his last three opponents in the first round by way of KO or submission. The 27-year-old power puncher and Bellator season nine middleweight (185 pounds) tournament champion is a former NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships runner-up and All-American for Johnson & Wales University.
Hasegawa (10-0-1 MMA) of Kanagawa, Japan is the number three ranked middleweight who will make his second start of 2015, following a first round (4:10) submission (keylock) victory overRyuta Sakurai on February 28. The 28-year-old secured his first title, the Deep megaton crown, on February 16, 2013 after defeating Seigo Mizuguchi by way of unanimous decision in the championship stage of a four-man tournament that spanned two events.
Hinata Watanabe vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
The 29-year-old Watanabe (33-15-1, 11 KO’s kickboxing) of Hiratsuka, Japan is a two-time kickboxing champion who has earned titles under both the R.I.S.E. and REBELS promotional banners in his native country. Watanabe shocked the world on October 26, 2009, defeating decorated, multiple time world champion Mike Zambidis by way of unanimous decision in a Superfight at the K-1 World Max 2009 Final in Yokohama, Japan.
Miyata (14-9 MMA) of Tokyo will enter the ring for the first time this year and look to notch his fourth straight win after submitting Askar Umbetov with an arm-triangle choke in the second round (1:26) of action on December 23, 2014. The 39-year-old Miyata has battled elite level adversaries including superstar Tatsuya Kawajiri and Caol Uno, whom Miyata defeated by way of unanimous decision on December 31, 2010.
Kirill Sidelnikov vs. Carlos Toyota
Once regarded as the second coming of all-time great Fedor Emelianenko, of whom he was a training partner, the 27-year-old Sidelnikov (7-4) of Stary Oskol, Russia is a master practitioner of Sambo. In his last start on November 19, 2010, he earned a unanimous decision over Vladimir Kuchenko.
Toyota (6-7 MMA) of Brazil will look to return to the win column following a second round (5:00) TKO (corner stoppage) defeat at the hands ofJaideep Singh on October 17 that snapped a three-fight win streak. One fight prior to the loss, Toyota had notched his career best victory, scoring a first round (1:29) KO (punch) on 7-foot-2, 350-pound goliath Hong Man Choi on July 25.
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