The inaugural Rizin FF events will take place at the end of the month and both cards are close to completion with K-1 veteran Jerome Le Banner the latest addition.
The kickboxing veteran will face Sumo star Kaido Hoovelson on New Year’s Eve but that event is still without a headlining fight.
Fedor Emelianenko (34-4-0-1) has been scheduled to make his comeback at the Saitama Super Arena on 31 December for quite some time, but the show is just two weeks away and there is still no word on who the heavyweight legend will fight.
While Fedor is still without an opponent Rizin FF promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara has found plenty of other heavyweights. There’s an eight man Grand Prix which begins on 29 December and features Jiri Prochazka, Vadim Nemkov, Bruno Cappelozza, Satoshi Ishii, Goran Reljic, Teodoras Aukstuolis, Brett McDermott and Muhammed Lawal.
The semi finals and final will take place on 31 December.
The draw for the quarter finals has already been made and the Tuesday night matchups will be as follows: Lawal vs McDermott, Aukstuolis vs Cappelozza, Ishii vs Prochazka, Reljic vs Nemkov.
The Tuesday night card will be headlined by an openweight contest between two Japanese MMA legends. Kazushi Sakuraba is returning to the sport after a four year absence to take on Shinya Aoki, the reigning ONE 155 lbs champion and one of the most dominant lightweights in Asia today.
The New Year’s Eve card will feature not one but two famous kickboxers. Two time K-1 Max champion Andy Souwer will be making his professional MMA debut when he takes on Andy Souwer while Le Banner is making his comeback after five years away from the sport.
Also making his pro debut will be Asen Yamamoto He is the nephew of current UFC bantamweight Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto and has been training in Thailand to prepare for a matchup against Kron Gracie.
Reigning Deep flyweight champion Yuki Motoya will be taking on former Road FC 125 lbs champion Nam Jin Jo on New Year’s Eve. Dream featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya has been matched with former Deep bantamweight champion Daiki Hata on the same card.
Some of the fights will be shown on a delayed broadcast by Spike TV in the US, although there is still no word on whether there will be a live stream.