Buakaw Banchamek will be returning to Japan to take on one of the country’s top kickboxers. He has been booked to face Rukiya Anpo at Rizin 42 on June 5th.

Buakaw has been participating in exhibition matches recently but will be returning to the country where he really made his name as a global star. The 40 year old will be taking on a much younger opponent in a contest that is set for 70kgs.

Anpo is the former K-1 super lightweight champion and has won his last three fights. He won the belt by beating Kaew Fairtex in 2019 and defeated the Thai again in a rematch.

Buakaw is the two time K-1 Max tournament winner but that was nearly 20 years ago. He upset Japanese fans recently by knocking out Yoshihiro Sato in a bout that was supposed to be an exhibition.


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Former foe

Meanwhile one of Buakaw’s recent victims will be back in the Rizin ring on May 6th. Japanese fighter and pinup Kota Miura is scheduled to take on kickboxer Ya-Man in a special rules bout at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

Miura’s fight at Rizin 42 will be his first in Japan since September. He also faced Buakaw in an exhibition kickboxing bout last year but was knocked out by the Muay Thai veteran.

Miura’s fame transcends combat sports. His father was one of the greatest footballers in the history of Japan and the 20 year old’s matinee star looks have helped him amass a significant fanbase despite fighting just a handful of times.


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Former champion

The event will be headlined by another fighter with a big online following. Former bantamweight champion Kai Asakura (19-4) returns to the ring for the first time since his shock defeat to Hiromasa Ougikubo at Rizin 33.

He has been matched with Yuki Motoya (33-10-0-1). The 33 year old comes into this contest on a five fight winning streak and the winner could be in pole position for a shot at the vacant bantamweight belt.

Reigning champions

Reigning lightweight champion Roberto de Souza (14-2) will be looking to bounce back from his defeat on Bellator vs. Rizin when he takes on Spike Carlyle (14-4). The Brazilian’s belt will not be on the line.

Super atomweight champion Seika Izawa (9-0) will also be competing in a non title bout. The undefeated star takes on Miyuu Yamamoto, a 48 year old on a three fight losing skid.

UFC veteran John Dodson (23-13) makes his second appearance in the Rizin cage. He has been matched with Tatsuki Saomoto (18-2) who has four wins out of four for Rizin.

Rizin 42, Tokyo, May 6th
Kai Asakura vs. Yuki Motoya (Bantamweight)
Naoki Inoue vs. Juan Archuleta (Bantamweight)
Roberto de Souza vs. Spike Carlyle (Lightweight)
Seika Izawa vs. Miyuu Yamamoto (Super Atomweight)
Special rules: Kota Miura vs. Ya-Man (Featherweight)
Ulka Sasaki vs. Boyd Allen (Featherweight)
John Dodson vs. Tatsuki Saomoto (Flyweight)
Takaki Soya vs. Ramazan Temirov (Flyweight)
Yuki Ito vs. Erson Yamamoto (Flyweight)
Takuya Yamamoto vs. Takeji Yokoyama (Featherweight)