Ren Hiramoto will be taking on a mystery opponent at Rizin 40. The kickboxer turned mixed martial artist will definitely be fighting at the Saitama Super Arena on New Year’s Eve he just doesn’t know who he will be fighting against.

It sounds like Hiramoto might be competing in kickboxing again with the bout being advertized as ‘standing bout special rules’:

“I have no opponent, so I want to ask for an opponent right now. No amateurs, I will fight a professional. Some K-1 fighters can fight me, I will show mercy, because I won’t fight you guys in MMA.”

Other changes

There have been a few other changes to the fight cards, one will take place earlier in the day to accommodate the US audience. Luis Gustavo is injured and has pulled out of his lightweight fight with Johnny Case.

Replacing him will be Shooto veteran Nobumitsu Osawa (14-6). He takes on Case (27-9-1) who remains the only man to have ever beaten reigning Rizin lightweight champion Roberto de Souza.

A featherweight fight has also been added to the card. Chihiro Suzuki (9-2) will be looking for his fifth straight Rizin win when he takes on ONE Championship veteran Yoshiki Nakahara (17-5) who has also won his last four.

Serious business

Later in the day the serious business will begin with a stacked fight card at Saitama Super Arena that has a Bellator vs Rizin theme. Former Bellator and Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi will be taking on Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix winner Hiromasa Ougikubo.

Reigning Rizin lightweight champion Roberto de Souza faces former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee. The latter is coming off a win over Spike Carlyle on his lightweight debut.

Meanwhile Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire takes on newly crowned Rizin featherweight king Kleber Koike. The latter won the belt last Sunday by submitting Juntaro Ushiku at Rizin 39.

Grand Prix final

The card will also feature the final of the super atomweight Grand Prix. Seika Izawa and Si Woo Park will face off for the right to be called the tournament winner.

Meanwhile UFC veteran John Dodson takes on the highly experienced Hideo Tokoro in a flyweight fight. In the lightweight division Johnny Case, who has ben training with Roberto de Souza at Bonsai Jiu Jitsu, takes on Luis Gustavo.

In the bantamweight division Juan Archuleta has been matched with Soo Chul Kim and Naoki Inoue will be fighting for the first time in a year when he returns from injury to take on Kenta Takizawa.

Rizin 40, Tokyo, December 31st
Kyoji Horiguchi vs Hiromasa Ougikubo (Bantamweight)
Juan Archuleta vs. Soo Chul Kim (Bantamweight)
Patricio Freire vs. Kleber Koike (Featherweight)
AJ McKee vs. Roberto Souza (Lightweight)
Koji Takeda vs. Gadzhi Rabadanov (Lightweight)
Tsuyoshi Sudario vs Junior Tafa (Heavyweight)
Yuki Motoya vs. Rogerio Bontorin (Bantamweight)
Naoki Inoue vs Kenta Takizawa (Bantamweight)
John Dodson vs. Hideo Tokoro (Flyweight)
Johnny Case vs. Nobumitsu Osawa (Lightweight)
Chihiro Suzuki vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (Featherweight)
Noah Bey vs. Sho Usami (Lightweight)