Kai Asakura sent shockwaves through the MMA world by stopping  Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin 18. His reward is a matchup against another of the promotion’s top bantamweights.

At Rizin 19 the 25 year old has been matched with Ulka Sasaki. The two were originally scheduled to fight in April but the UFC veteran pulled out with an injury.

Asakura (13-1) has been promised a title shot against Horiguchi on Rizin’s December 31st card. However with the promotion’s two biggest stars unable to compete on October 12th promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara had to do some quick thinking,

“This card has been very tough to put together since Horiguchi is still under suspension and Tenshin injured his hand. Mikuru Asakura not being able to fight on this card due to injury also didn’t help us either. So I asked Kai Asakura to see if he could step up in an emergency situation and headline the October event and he accepted,” the Rizin CEO explained.

Sasaki (22-7-2) was last seen in action at Rizin 17 where Shintaro Ishiwatari submitted him with a north-south choke. He will be looking to bounce back with a win but faces a tough test against rising star Asakura.

The other fight added to the Rizin 19 card today was a flyweight kickboxing bout. It pits Taisei Umei against Seiki Ueyama and brings the total number of fights on the card to ten.

As previously announced Rizin 19 will feature all four quarter finals of the the Lightweight Grand Prix. The event is set for the Edion Arena in Osaka and will be co-headlined by a catchweight bout between Jiri Prochazka and Fabio Maldonado.

Rizin 19, Osaka, October 12th
Kai Asakura vs. Ulka Sasaki (Bantamweight)
Jiri Prochazka vs. Fabio Maldonado (100kgs)
Tofiq Musaev vs. Damien Brown (Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter Final)
Johnny Case vs. Roberto de Souza (Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter Final)
Patricky Freire vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter Final)
Hiroto Uesako vs. Luiz Gustavo (Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter Final)
Seo Hee Ham vs. Miyuu Yamamoto (49kgs)
Marcos de Souza vs. Keita Nakamura (Welterweight)
Rena Kubota vs. Shawna Ram (51kgs)
Kickboxing: Seiki Ueyama vs. Taisei Umei (Flyweight)