Tsuyoshi Sudario will be back in action at Rizin 39. He has been booked to take on undefeated Romanian Janos Csukas in Fukuoka on October 23rd.
The Japanese heavyweight originally made his name in the sport of sumo but was forced to retire after being accused of hitting an attendant. He made his MMA debut in 2020 and has already fought for Rizin six times, winning five of those bouts.
Sudario (5-1) was last seen stopping Hideshi Sekine in the opening round at Rizin 37. He takes on Csukas (7-0) who has an impressive record which has mainly been compiled at the expense of low level opponents.
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Also added to the card today was a lightweight bout pitting Yusuke Yachi (23-13) against Boyd Allen (16-4-1). The former challenged for the lightweight title last year but was submitted by Roberto de Souza while the latter is a successful boxer who will be making his promotional debut.
In the featherweight division the experienced Takahiro Ashida (25-12-2) takes on Hirotaka Nakada (5-3). Meanwhile Shinji Sasaki (20-12-3) has been matched with Sho Usami (4-1) in a catchweight contest.
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As previously announced Kleber Koike Erbst will finally get his title shot. After submitting five opponents in a row on Rizin cards the Brazilian has been handed a fight with newly crowned featherweight champion Juntaro Ushiku.
Ushiku (22-8-1) is also the reigning Deep 145lbs champion. He won the belt by finishing Yutaka Saito with a knee in the second round at Rizin 31, although it was the doctor who ultimately called off the contest due to a cut.
His first title defence was against the same opponent in April. This time they went the distance with Ushiku claiming a unanimous decision win over Saito at Rizin 35.
Koike (30-5-1) has had to earn his title shot the hard way. His teammate Roberto de Souza holds the lightweight strap and it has taken him a long time to convince matchmakers to hand him a shot at the 145lbs belt.
He overcame the final hurdle by choking out Kyohei Hagiwara at Rizin Landmark 3 in May. The Brazilian’s winning streak stands at six and he has won every single one of those bouts by submission.
Fight announcement for RIZIN.39
【Featherweiight Title Match】
Juntaro Ushiku vs. Kleber Koike#RIZIN #RIZIN39 pic.twitter.com/3kDGGG1XxK
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) September 16, 2022
Among the other two fights on card this week are two matches pitting Japanese fighters against foreign opponents. In the bantamweight division UFC veteran Motonobu Tezuka has been matched with Azerbaijain’s Mehman Mamedov.
In the featherweight division ONE Championship veteran Yoshiki Nakahara takes on Vugar Karamov . The latter is also from Azerbaijan and will be going in search of his third straight Rizin win.
At lightweight Deep champion Koji Takeda goes up against Hawaii’s Zach Zane. The former is coming off a huge come from behind win over Johnny Case at Rizin 37.
Rizin 39, Tokyo, September 25th
Juntaro Ushiku (c) vs. Kleber Koike Erbst (For featherweight title)
Koji Takeda vs. Zach Zane (Lightweight)
Motonobu Tezuka vs. Mehman Mamedov (Bantamweight)
Vugar Karamov vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (Featherweight)
Daichi Abe vs. Yukinari Tamura (Welterweight)
Yusuke Yachi vs. Boyd Allen (Lightweight)
Takahiro Ashida vs. Hirotaka Nakada (Featherweight)
Shinji Sasaki vs. Sho Usami (Catchweight)
Kickboxing: Shogo Kuriaki vs Kakeru (Catchweight)
Kickboxing: Reito Bravely vs Koichiro Seki (Catchweight)