Some big events are booked for Japan in December but they could be in jeopardy after the country tightened its border regulations. Foreigners are no longer allowed to enter dur to fears over the omicron strain of Covid-19.

According to Nikkei:

‘As an emergency precautionary measure, Japan will ban all foreigners from entering the country, starting from Tuesday.’

Gennady Golovkin had been set to face Ryota Murata in a middleweight title unification fight on December 29th. The bout was booked for Saitama Super Arena but it seems unlikely the Kazakh fighter will be allowed to enter the country.

Rizin 33 is booked for the same venue on New Year’s Eve. The promotion has enough local fighters on the roster to go ahead with the event but overseas stars such as Tofiq Musaev won’t be able to participate.

December is traditionally a big month in Japan for MMA, boxing and kickboxing. Some of the biggest fights in the country’s history have taken place on New Year’s Eve.

But the new restrictions look set to put a dampener on the festivities this year. Promoters will be anxiously awaiting any new announcements about limitations to live audiences.