Kai Asakura out of Rizin 36, replaced by Shoji Marayuma
Kai Asakura will not be competing on this weekend’s Rizin 36 card. No reason was offered for his withdrawal but the hugely popular bantamweight will be replaced by Shoji Marayuma who now faces Ji Yong Yang in the co-main event.
The card will also get a reshuffle with the featherweight fight between Ren Hiramoto and Hiroaki Suzuki now serving as the main event. Marayuma (19-16-1) appears to have accepted the fight at very short notice, the former lightweight King of Pancrase has lost his last two.
Yang (4-0) is undefeated but will be fighting outside of Korea for the first time in his career. The promotion announced the changes to the card on Twitter just now:
— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) June 30, 2022
The new main event features two kickboxers competing in MMA. Ren Hiramoto (0-2) had a lot of hype behind him when he decided to switch codes after a successful K-1 career.
But things have not gone according to plan for the former K-1 lightweight title challenger who is winless in his two fights so far. He hoped to conquer the featherweight division but dropped a decision to Chihiro Suzuki in his most recent outing.
He is set to take on Hiroaki Suzuki (2-1) a Shoot Boxing and Muay Thai veteran who has been in with the likes of Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Tukkatatong Petpayathai. He has had more success in MMA than his opponent winning two Rizin fights out of three.
Fight announcement for RIZIN.36
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) June 1, 2022
Best of the rest
Miyuu Yamamoto (6-6) has been matched with Saori Oshima (8-3) in a super atomweight bout between two top contenders. The latter beat Kanna Asakura at Rizin 31 last year.
Rizin has not held many strawweight fights in the past but a catchweight contest set for 119lbs is on the card. ONE Championship veteran Mitsuhisa Sunabe (29-10-4) has been matched with Nobuyoshi Nakatsuka (7-4)