A big lightweight fight has been added to the Rizin 37 card. The event is set for the Saitama Super Arena on July 31st and will feature a lightweight fight between Johnny Case and Koji Takeda.

Case (27-8-1) is the only fight to ever beat current lightweight champion Roberto de Souza. But he was submitted in the opening round by the Brazilian when they rematched at Rizin 35 in April.

Takeda (13-3) is the reigning Deep lightweight champion. But his last five fights have all been under the Rizin banner and he has won three of them but is coming off a loss to UFC veteran Spike Carlyle.

Atomweight tournament

As previously announced the event will feature the quarter finals of the super atomweight Grand Prix with four Japanese fighters facing four foreign opponents. The last time Rizin held a 108lbs Grand Prix was in 2017 and finalists Kanna Asakura and Rena Kubota are both returning for this tournament.

Asakura (19-6), who went on to capture the Rizin super atomweight tournament, has been matched with Korea’s Si Woo Park (7-4). Rena (12-4) faces Ukrainian Anastasiya Svetkivska (2-0).

Former Rizin super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki (23-5) will be on the comeback trail. She lost her title after being beaten twice by Seika Izawa and has been matched with UFC veteran Jessica Aguilar (20-9) in the quarter final.

The final fight sees Izawa (6-0) put her undefeated record, but not her title, on the line against Laura Fontoura (7-0). The undefeated Brazilian is coming off a win over Rizin veteran Andy Nguyen.

Bantamweight bout

Among the other fights currently on the card is a bantamweight bout pitting Naoki Inoue against Kenta Takizawa. Both men are coming off losses in the 135lbs Grand Prix.

Inoue  lost to eventual winner Hiromasa Ougikubo in the semi final while Takizawa dropped a decision to Kai Asakura at the same stage of the tournament. Neither man has seen any action since Rizin 33 last December although Asakura has spent time training in the US and his brother, Mikuru Asakura, will be fighting Floyd Mayweather later this year:

Back to back

That won’t be the only bantamweight bout on the Rizin 37 card. Yuki Motoya has been matched with Shinobu Ota with the former having won back to back fights since being eliminated from the Grand Prix in the quarter finals.

Ota is also coming off back to back wins. He won a silver medal in wrestling at the Olympics in 2016 and has fought three times for Rizin since switching his focus to MMA in 2020.

Motoya will have a huge advantage in terms of MMA experience. He is a former Deep flyweight and bantamweight champion who made his pro debut in 2010.

Age gap

In the flyweight division veteran Hideo Tokoro  will be competing in MMA for the first time since his win over Ota. He has kept extremely busy during the intervening years, taking part in a number of grappling contests and exhibition matches most notably against Tenshin Nasukawa last year.

The 44 year old has been matched with Makoto Takahashi). He is the reigning Deep flyweight champion and will be making his Rizin debut against an opponent more than two decades his senior.

Best of the rest

In the featherweight division  UFC veteran Ulka Sasaki faces ONE Championship veteran Yoshiki Nakahara. The latter is coming off back to back losses while the former has won his last two.

Also at 145lbs Vugar Karamov (16-4) has been matched with Sora Yamamoto (16-6-2). The latter replaces Rikuto Shirakawa who has had to withdraw due to injury.

Rizin 37, Tokyo, July 31st
Naoki Inoue vs. Kenta Takizawa (Bantamweight)
Rena Kubota vs. Anastasiya Svetkivska (Super atomweight)
Kanna Asakura vs. Si Woo Park (Super atomweight)
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Jessica Aguilar (Super atomweight)
Seika Izawa vs. Laura Fontoura (Super Atomweight)
Sora Yamamoto vs. Vugar Karamov (Featherweight)
Marcos Souza vs Daichi Abe (Catchweight)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Makoto Takahashi (Bantamweight)
Yuki Motoya vs. Shinobu Ota (Bantamweight)
Johnny Case vs. Koji Takeda (Lightweight)
Hideki Sekine vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (Heavyweight)
Ulka Sasaki vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (Featherweight)
Kota Miura vs. Felipe Masoni (Featherweight)
Yushi vs. Haruki (Bantamweight)