Rizin 37 is set for the Saitama Super Arena on July 31st. Eight fights were announced today including a bantamweight bout pitting Naoki Inoue against Kenta Takizawa.

Both men are coming off losses in the bantamweight Grand Prix. Inoue (15-3) lost to eventual winner Hiromasa Ougikubo in the semi final while Takizawa (13-8) dropped a decision to Kai Asakura at the same stage of the tournament.

Neither man has seen any action since Rizin 33 last December although Asakura has spent time training in the US and his brother, Mikuru Asakura, will be fighting Floyd Mayweather later this year:

Back to back

That won’t be the only bantamweight bout on the Rizin 37 card. Yuki Motoya has been matched with Shinobu Ota with the former having won back to back fights since being eliminated from the Grand Prix in the quarter finals.

Ota (2-1) is also coming off back to back wins. He won a silver medal in wrestling at the Olympics in 2016 and has fought three times for Rizin since switching his focus to MMA in 2020.

Motoya (30-10) will have a huge advantage in terms of MMA experience. He is a former Deep flyweight and bantamweight champion who made his pro debut in 2010.

Age gap

In the flyweight division veteran Hideo Tokoro (35-30-2) will be competing in MMA for the first time since his win over Ota. He has kept extremely busy during the intervening years, taking part in a number of grappling contests and exhibition matches most notably against Tenshin Nasukawa last year.

The 44 year old has been matched with Makoto Takahashi (13-1-1). He is the reigning Deep flyweight champion and will be making his Rizin debut against an opponent more than two decades his senior.

Best of the rest

In the featherweight division  UFC veteran Ulka Sasaki (23-10-2) faces ONE Championship veteran Yoshiki Nakahara (15-5). The latter is coming off back to back losses while the former has won his last two.

Also at 145lbs Vugar Karamov (16-4) has been matched with Rikuto Shirakawa (11-8-1). The former hails from Azerbaijan and has won two out of his three Rizin fights while the latter is on a five fight winning streak.

Rizin 31, Tokyo, July 31st
Naoki Inoue vs. Kenta Takizawa (Bantamweight)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Makoto Takahashi (Bantamweight)
Yuki Motoya vs. Shinobu Ota (Bantamweight)
Hideki Sekine vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario (Heavyweight)
Ulka Sasaki vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (Featherweight)
Vugar Karamov vs. Rikuto Shirakawa (Featherweight)
Kota Miura vs. Felipe Masoni (Featherweight)
Yushi vs. Haruki (Bantamweight)