Yoshinori Horie will be back in action at Rizin 41. The 27 year old has been matched with Vugar Karamov at the Maruzen Intec Arena in Osaka.
Horie has won four fights out of four for Rizin. But his has also had more than his fair share of setbacks during an MMA career that started off with Pancrase.
At UFC 24o he was knocked out by Hakeem Dawodu in what would prove to be his first and final fight for the promotion. Horie subsequently admitted that at one stage he had been forced to do sex work in order to earn some extra income.
But Horie (12-3) has turned things around since signing for Rizin although he didn’t get a single fight in during 2022. He could be in contention for a shot at the featherweight title if he can win against the experienced Karamov (17-4).
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Rizin launched the flyweight division on New Year’s Eve and there will be two fights in this weight class. Makoto Shinryu (15-1-1) goes up against Daichi Kitakata (20-11-1) while Yusaku Nakamura (17-9-1) takes on Mehman Mamedov (5-6).
The card looks set to be headlined by a fight between Koji Tanaka and Ryusei Ashizawa. The former is famous for feuding with Floyd Mayweather’s entourage.
He ended up fighting Mayweather’s long term bodyguard Ray Sadeghi at Super Rizin. The kickboxer won by third round stoppage against a much larger opponent but one with no previous fighting experience whatsoever.
He is scheduled to take on fellow kickboxer Ryusei Ashizawa who was last seen losing on the card headlined by Tenshin Nasukawa and Takeru. For some reason no ruleset or weight class has been confirmed for this fight.
Rizin 41, Osaka, April 1st
Kouzi vs. Ryusei Ashizawa
Makoto Shinryu vs. Daichi Kitakata (Flyweight)
Vugar Karamov vs. Yoshinori Horie (Featherweight)
Yuto Hokamura vs. Koichi Ishizuka (Bantamweight)
Yusaku Nakamura vs. Mehman Mamedov (Flyweight)
Kickboxing: Shun vs. Motoki (Bantamweight)
Kickboxing: Shingeki no Yuuki vs. Sota Kimura (Featherweight)
Kickboxing: Asataro vs. Shin Sakurai (Catchweight)