The show marked Rizin’s eagerly-awaited return to action after the promotion was forced to bring a pause to live events for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aside from an action-packed afternoon of fights, Koji’s contribution provided an added layer of excitement for the returning fans.
The former K-1 star entered with a Floyd Mayweather mask as he addressed the crowd, and called the attending Tenshin out to the ring. Tenshin famously suffered a mauling at the hands of Mayweather, losing via first-round TKO in an exhibition boxing fight at Rizin 14.
Once Tenshin was in the ring, Koji handed him the mask and told him to “wear this if you ever feel like crying.”
Tenshin responded by agreeing to a fight,
“If everyone would like to see me fight Koji, I’ll beat him up… It’s the first time anyone has challenged me like this. I’ll take him on…”
A clash between the pair has been considered several times in the past and was at one point reported to be a main event for Rizin 22. Now, with both in agreement, it could serve as a main event for one of the promotion’s upcoming shows.