Shibatar faces Yuta Kubo at Rizin 33
With international borders closed Rizin’s matchmakers have been forced to think outside of the box for the New Year’s Eve card. The latest addition is a bout which pits heavyweight YouTuber Atsushi Saito against featherweight kickboxer Yuta Kubo.
Saito (4-9-1) is quite the showman as he proved at Rizin 26. ‘Shibatar’ submitted K-1 veteran Hiroya Kawabe with and armbar although the submission win was only awarded retrospectively, the referee having missed the tap.
That fight alternated between kickboxing rules and MMA rules from round to round and this bout looks likely to follow a similar format. Kubo (0-1) made his MMA debut at Rizin 30 and dropped a decision to wrestling standout Shinobu Ota.
As previously announced Japanese based Brazilian Roberto de Souza will defend his lightweight title against Yusuke Yachi at Rizin 33. The card will consist exclusively of local fighters due to ongoing travel restrictions.