Tenshin’s younger brother will be making his MMA debut at Rizin 45. Ryujin Nasukawa has been matched with Jung Min Shin in a catchweight contest at the Saitama Super Arena on December 31st.

Ryujin has a background in kickboxing and made his pro debut last year. He has been competing primarily for Rise and has won his last three fights.

Shin is also making his pro debut. Tenshin did enjoy success in MMA, his record is 4-0, but he gave up on the sport in order to focus on his kickboxing career before transitioning to traditional boxing.


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Three fights

That was one of three fights announced today with the card now presumably complete. UFC and Bellator veteran Vince Morales (13-7) has ben matched with  former Deep flyweight champion Yuki Motoya (34-10).

Jo Arai (13-10) recently won a second Shooto title. He has won his last 11 fights and has been rewarded with a spot on the Rizin 45 card, he has been matched with Hiroya Kondo (8-12) in an all Japanese flyweight bout.

Bantamweight belt

Kai Asakura has challenged for the Rizin bantamweight title twice before and will be hoping to make it third time lucky when he takes on Juan Archuleta in the main event. The American will be defending the belt for the first time.

Archuleta won the vacant title at Super Rizin 2. He outpointed Hiromasa Ougikubo, who had beaten Asakura in the bantamweight tournament final in 2021.

Asakura returned from injury earlier this year to take on Yuki Motoya at Rizin 42. He won that fight with a knee to the body in the third round to earn his third shot at the bantamweight title.

Inaugural title

Kyoji Horiguchi will challenge for the inaugural flyweight title at Rizin 45. He has been booked to face Makoto Takahashi in a rematch that looks set to serve as the co-headliner.

Horiguchi challenged Takahashi for the inaugural Bellator flyweight title recently at Super Rizin 2 but that bout ended in a no contest after an accidental eye poke. Horiguchi had a successful UFC career competing at 125lbs but moved up to bantamweight after signing with Rizin.

Takahashi had won ten in a row heading into the first fight. He is the former Deep flyweight champion and hasn’t lost a bout since 2018.

Retirement fight

One of Rizin’s most experienced female fighters will be returning to the ring at the age of 49. Miyuu Yamamoto will be fighting for the first time in 2023 when she takes on Seika Izawa in a super atomweight fight.

The two were originally set to face off at Rizin 42 but Yamamoto withdrew due to injury. The veteran is facing the promotion’s reigning super atomweight champion in what will be her final fight.

The matchmakers have given Yamamoto the most difficult retirement fight possible. Izawa has never lost a fight and won the super atomweight tournament last year, beating Si Woo Park in the final.


Best of the rest

UFC veteran John Dodson takes on Hiromasa Ougikubo in what could turn out to be a title eliminator in the flyweight division. Two former Rizin featherweight champions who have fallen on hard times will collide when Kleber Koike takes on Yutaka Saito.

Rising heavyweight star Tsuyoshi Sudario is also on the Rizin 45 card. The former sumo wrestler will face Mikio Ueda at the Saitama Super Arena on December 31st.

Minoru Kimura’s drug ban appears to have ended. The Brazilian will be taking on former K-1 super lightweight champion Rukiya Anpo in a lightweight kickboxing fight.

Rizin 45, Tokyo, December 31st
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto Takahashi (For flyweight title)
Juan Archuleta (c) vs. Kai Asakura (For bantamweight title)
Seika Izawa vs. Miyuu Yamamoto (Super atomweight)
Kota Miura vs. Koji Tanaka (Unknown)
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. John Dodson (Flyweight)
Koike Kleber vs. Yutaka Saito (Featherweight)
Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Mikio Ueda (Heavyweight)
Kickboxing: Rukiya Anpo vs. Minoru Kimura (Lightweight)
Shinobu Ota vs. Ryusei Ashizawa (Bantamweight)
Satoshi Yamasu vs. Suguru Nii (Featherweight)
Igor Tanabe vs. Shinsho Anzai (Welterweight)
Rukiya Anpo vs. Yuta Kubo (Lightweight)
Ren Hiramoto vs. Ren Sugiyama (Featherweight)
Vince Morales vs. Yuki Motoya (Bantamweight)
Ryujin Nasukawa vs. Jung Min Shin (Catchweight)