Seven fights have been added to the Rizin 26 card including a super atomweight title fight between Ayaka Hamasaki and Miyuu Yamamoto. The event is set for Saitama Super Arena on New Year’s Eve.
The 108lbs title is vacant because former champion Seo Hee Ham signed with ONE Championship. Hamasaki (20-3) has been handed the opportunity to win the belt a second time when she faces Yamamoto (6-4).
Hamasaki won the belt by beating Kanna Asakura at Rizin 14. At Rizin 20 she lost the title after dropping a split decision to UFC and Road FC veteran Ham.
Both fighters are coming off wins. Yamamoto beat Suwanan Boonsorn by decision at Rizin 20 while Asakura submitted Tomo Maesawa at Rizin 22.
Another super atomweight fight added to the card pits the aforementioned Asakura (17-4) against Ai Shimizu (5-0). The former won the promotion’s 108lbs tournament in 2017 while the latter is undefeated.
There are also two big bantamweight fights on the card. Ulka Sasaki (22-8-2) has been matched with Kenta Takizawa (11-6) while Yuki Motoya (26-8) takes on Naoki Inoue (14-2).
As previously announced the event will be headlined by a bantamweight title rematch between current champion Kai Asakura and former champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
The card is not complete and more fights will be added in the coming weeks. Fighters like Tenshin Nasukawa, Rena Kubota and Mikuru Asakura could all be in action on December 31st.
In previous years Rizin has put on two New Year’s Eve events at the Saitama Super Arena. The most notable fight pitted Tenshin against Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition boxing match.
But with fighters from outside of Japan currently unable to enter the country due to Covid-19 restrictions and venue capacities limited, this year’s event looks set to be slightly scaled down.
Rizin 26, Tokyo, December 31st
Kyoji Horiguchi (c) vs. Kai Asakura (For bantamweight title)
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto (For super atomweight title)
Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu (Super Atomweight)
Ulka Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa (Bantamweight)
Yuki Motoya vs. Naoki Inoue (Bantamweight)
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (Heavyweight)
Kyohei Hagiwara vs. Ren Hiramoto (Catchweight)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota (Bantamweight)