TOKYO – July 20th, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara, held a press conference and announced updates about RIZIN.30 – the promotion’s 4th event of the year. Ulka Sasaki steps up a weight class to meet Yoshinori Horie at featherweight. Yusuke Yachi makes a quick turnaround and faces another Japan Champion Koji Takeda. Rio Olympic Silver medalist Shinobu Ohta will be making his second MMA appearance against former K-1 Champion Yuta Kubo who will be making his MMA debut. Longtime veteran Shoji Maruyama gets 22-year-old Kickboxing Champion Chihiro Suzuki who also has a 5-2 record in MMA. Women’s kickboxing rising star Panchan Rina will meet RISE veteran Momoka under kickboxing rules.
RIZIN.30 will be broadcasted LIVE on SkyperfectTV, streamed on RIZIN LIVE PPV and Exciting RIZIN with Japanese
commentary. Doors are expected to open at 12:30PM with the Opening Ceremony at 2:00PM Won September 19th (Sun) at the Saitama Super Arena.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakaibara opened the press conference with the following statement “RIZIN.30 will be held at the
Saitama Super Arena, but due to covid protocols, we will only be able to sell 5,000 tickets at the moment, however if things change we hope to start selling additional tickets in September.” While many promotions in Japan have struggled to hold events under the pandemic Sakakibara plans to hold at least 3 more events after the September event. “We have confirmed RIZIN.31 to be held in Yokohama at the PIA Arena Minatomirai, and obviously NYE, we are currently in the process of finalizing another event in between.” The RIZIN CEO has also hinted putting on fights for content only without any audience.
Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki (22-8-2) has gone 2-2 in RIZIN and is coming off of a unanimous decision win against Kenta Takizawa in his comeback fight at RIZIN.26 after suffering a broken jaw against former Bantamweight Champion Kai Asakura. All of Ulka’s submission wins have come by the rear naked choke, and the 5’9” grappling ace will be making his first appearance at Featherweight against another UFC veteran Yoshinori Horie (10-3). The Pancrase Neo Blood tournament winner made his RIZIN debut in spectacular fashion by finishing ZST Champion Tetsuya Seki in RIZIN.27. The hard-hitting striker holds 6 knockouts in his 10 victories.
Yusuke Yachi (22-11) makes a quick turn around after beating current Shooto Lightweight Champion Yuki Kawana in RIZIN.29. The former PXC Champion has showed his patience and strategy in this fight after changing gyms and his training environment. As the 31 year old has been mentioning, he wishes to take out domestic Champions where he now faces current DEEP light weight Champion Koji Takeda (12-1). The BRAVE GYM product is coming off of a fight of the year candidate between Takasuke Kume at RIZIN.27 and currently rides a 4 fight winning streak. Many thought after his win against Kume would earn him a title shot against current Champion Roberto Satoshi Souza, but he now faces the innovated poster boy. Rio Olympics Greco Roman wrestling silver medalist Shinobu Ohta (0-1) will be making his second MMA appearance where he meets former K-1 Champion Yuta Kubo (0-0), who will also be making his MMA debut. Long time veteran Shoji Maruyama (18-14-1) will be taking on 22 year old prospect and kickboxing Champion Chihiro Suzuki (5-2) who also holds a winning MMA record. Women’s kickboxing standout Panchan Rina (11-0) will be taking on veteran Momoka (10-6) in a kickboxing bout.
“My opponent is tough and gritty but doesn’t have anything particular that stands out. I would like to beat this opponent and put myself back into the title mix.”
“I have faced top competition in Japan since joining RIZIN. Yachi is not a champion of any sort, but he is indeed a top force in my division. I plan to beat him and solidify my spot as the true top contender in Japan.”
“I apologize for not being able to be at the press conference today. I got beat by the vaccine but I will beat my opponent on fight day. This will be my first fight at featherweight and I am facing a fantastic opponent which makes very motivated. I’ve gone 2-2 since joining the RIZIN roster and both of my wins have come by decision so I plan to finish this one with style. Horie is a great fighter but I think this fight is a battle between myself, and with the fans. Every single message and cheers count for us fighters so please fight with me on fight day. I will see you on September 19th”
“Ulka has fought in the UFC longer than me and is a great fighter but I’m just much better than him. I plan to hit him over and over until he falls down and hit him more.”
“Suzuki has the nickname called the Crazy Diamond. He hits very hard and he’s very quick. I am honored to be facing such a prospect and I am determined to fight him like a man, bite down and exchange with him. This will be a very fun fight.”
“My goal is to become the first fighter to constantly fight in 2 sports. For this fight, I will go out there and do my thing, try to hit that home run from the very beginning.”
“My opponent is a K-1 Champion so I don’t want him to land any strikes on me. The plan is to not have him land any fights.”
“I returned my K-1 belt saying that I was going to pursue boxing, but for some reason I ended up here. I don’t want to play things safe, and I want to keep pushing myself and keep challenging. I want to show that I am determined and I am not here just for fun, although I want to show my success to my beautiful, sweet celebrity wife so she can love me more.”
“I am honored to be participating in the first women’s kickboxing bout in RIZIN. I want to show that women’s kickboxing is also appealing and exciting. I want to be the sole fighter shining in this fight and want to keep women’s kickboxing a staple in the RIZIN ring.”
“This is a big opportunity for me and all of the attention is on my opponent. I think this can be a career changing win for me so I am very motivated. I also want to show the appeal of women’s kickboxing and I am honored to be the one to be assigned for this task.”
RIZIN. 30 – September 19th
Kai Asakura vs Alan Hiro Yamaniha- 61kg MMA Rules (RIZIN Bantamweight GP Quarterfinal)
Naoki Inoue vs Kintaro – 61kg MMA Rules (RIZIN Bantamweight GP Quarterfinal)
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs Takafumi Otsuka – 61kg MMA Rules (RIZIN Bantamweight GP Quarterfinal)
Kenta Takizawa vs Yuki Motoya – 61kg MMA Rules (RIZIN Bantamweight GP Quarterfinal)
Ayaka Hamasaki vs Emi Fujino – 49kg MMA Rules
Ulka Sasaki vs Yoshinori Horie – 66kg MMA rules
Yusuke Yachi vs Koji Takeda – 71kg MMA Rules
Shoji Maruyama vs Chihiro Suzuki – 66kg MMA Rules
Shinobu Ohta vs Yuta Kubo – 66kg MMA Rules
Panchan Rina vs Momoka – 46.5kg RIZIN kickboxing Rules
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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