Tatsuya Kawajiri faces Ali Abdulkhalikov at Rizin 17
Kawajiri had originally been expected to face Johnny Case. But that matchup never materialized and the promotion took to Twitter to announce that he would be facing an undefeated Russian instead:
Additional fight announcement for RIZIN.17
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Ali Abdulkhalikov
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) June 26, 2019
Kawajiri (36-13-2) is a Pride, Dream, Strikeforce, ONE Championship and UFC veteran. However the 41 year old has lost five of his last six bouts and dropped a split decision to Satoru Kitaoka at Rizin Heisei’s Last Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve.
Abdulkhalikov (7-0) will be making his promotional debut. The Russian lightweight is undefeated as a professional but did suffer a few defeats during his amateur days and will be fighting outside of his homeland for the first time.
As previously announced Kitaoka faces Case in a lightweight bout at Rizin 17. The card will also feature Ulka Sasaki, Shintaro Ishiwatari, Yuki Motoya, Hiromasa Ogikubo, Mikuru Asakura , Yusuke Yachi, Vitaly Shemetov, Jake Heun, Ham Seo-Hee and Mizuke Hirota.