Kai Asakura has pulled out of Super Rizin 2. He had been scheduled to challenge for the bantamweight belt at Saitama Super Arena on July 30th but has been forced to pull out after suffering an injury.

Rizin did not waste any time in finding a replacement. Hiromasa Ougikubo will now be taking on Juan Archuleta in a fight which has the vacant bantamweight title on the line.

Asakura took to Twitter just now to apologize although he didn’t disclose the nature of the injury,

I am sorry to all the fans and to my opponent, Archuleta, that I will be absent due to injury this time. It’s really frustrating and I honestly feel that I still haven’t sorted out my heart. But I will definitely recover from my injuries and come back to the ring. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ogikubo, who took the match on my behalf.

Featherweight title

The bantamweight belt is not the only Rizin title that is currently vacant. Having missed weight by 0.88lbs for his last fight Kleber Koike has lost his status as a champion.

Koike has been stripped of the Rizin featherweight title.  But the promotion has not wasted any time in looking to crown a new champion with Mikuru Asakura facing Vugar Karamov for the featherweight belt.

As well as being stripped of the belt Koike saw his last submission win changed to a no contest and has been overlooked for a shot at the vacant title. Instead Mikuru Asakura will be given a chance to follow in his brother’s footsteps by becoming a Rizin champion.

Returning to Japan

Tofiq Musayev will return to Japan to compete on the Super Rizin 2 card. The lightweight Grand Prix winner has been matched with Akira Okada at the Saitama Super Arena on July 30th.

Musayev has not fought for the promotion since 2021. He was submitted by Roberto de Souza in a lightweight title fight at Rizin 24 and promptly signed for Bellator afterwards.

He has enjoyed mixed fortunes competing in the US. Musayev needed just 27 seconds to knock out Sidney Outlaw on his Bellator debut but was stopped by Alexander Shabliy in his sophomore appearance.

Musayev (20-5) has a big reputation in Japan having won five fights out of six for Rizin. Okada (19-9-4) was recently crowned the interim Pancrase lightweight champion and has won six out of his last seven fights.

Title fight

There are currently two title fights on the Super Rizin 2 card. Seika Izawa will be putting her super atomweight belt on the line when she faces Claire Lopez at the Saitama Super Arena on July 30th.

Izawa won the Rizin super atomweight Grand Prix last year. She is coming off a submission win over Suwanan Boonsorn at Deep-Jewels 41 in a non title fight.

Lopez submitted Rena Kubota at Rizin Landmark 5 in April. Her reward is a shot at the undefeated champion in what will be just the French fighter’s second appearance in the Rizin ring.

Bantamweight belt

In the welterweight division UFC and ONE Championship veteran Daichi Abe will be looking for his fourth straight Rizin win. He lost his Deep welterweight title recently and faces Brazilian submission specialist Igor Tanabe  in a middleweight match.

In the bantamweight division Kenta Takizawa takes on Shinobu Ota. The former is coming off losses to Naoki Inoue and Kai Asakura and will be hoping to get back to winning ways here.

Bellator x Rizin 2, Tokyo, July 30th
Mikuru Asakura vs. Vugar Karamov (For featherweight title)
Seika Izawa (c) vs. Claire Lopez (For super atomweight title)
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. Juan Archuleta (For bantamweight title)
Tofiq Musayev vs. Akira Okada (Lightweight)
Daichi Abe vs. Igor Tanabe (Middleweight)
Kenta Takizawa vs. Shinobu Ota (Bantamweight)
Yuki Ito will vs. Hiroya Kondo (Catchweight)