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:

Kickboxers collide

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.

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)

Rizin 36, Okinawa, July 2nd
Hiroaki Suzuki vs. Ren Hiramoto (Featherweight)
Kai Asakura vs. Shoji Marayuma (Featherweight)
Miyuu Yamamoto vs. Saori Oshima (Super atomweight)
Mitsuhisa Sunabe vs. Nobuyoshi Nakatsuka (Catchweight)
Kohei Tokeshi vs. Atsushi Kishimoto (Lightweight)
Yuki Ito vs. Yuichi Miyagi (Flyweight)
Yamato Fujita vs. Tatsuya So (Flyweight)
Yutaro Muramoto vs. Shinichi Kojima (Flyweight)
Mizuki Oshiro vs. Moeri Suda (Super atomweight)
Kickboxing: Taiga Kawabe vs. Soichiro Arata (Bantamweight)
Kyle Aguon vs. Sora Yamamoto (Featherweight)
Kickboxing: Hirokatsu Miyagi vs. Tomoki Yoshino (Catchweight)
Tanner Lourenco vs. Orihey (Lightweight)