Yusuke Yachi faces Yuki Kawana at Rizin 29
Rizin 29 is set for the Maruzen Intech Arena on May 30th. The first six fights for the card were announced this morning with the bantamweight Grand Prix set to get underway in Osaka.
The draw for the bantamweight Grand Prix was made in March and the first eight fights will take place at Rizin 28 and Rizin 29. The former event has been postponed and will now be held at the Tokyo Dome on June 13th.
At Rizin 28 there will be a lightweight bout between Yusuke Yachi (21-11) and Yuki Kawana (16-5-5). The former has lost five out of his last six while the latter dropped a split decision to Koji Takeda at Rizin 24.
Yachi says he has gone ‘back to the drawing board’ after a poor run of recent results,
“This will be my first fight this year. I went back to the drawing board and have changed my approach to MMA. I will show you the new Yachi. My plan is to beat all domestic champions this year. Stay tuned.”
For his part Kawana sounded underwhelmed by the choice of opponent,
“I’m not too excited to be fighting the poster boy who can’t win fights, but I look forward in taking everything he has worked for. I would like to suggest winner takes all rules and if Yachi is scared of elbows, I can take that out of the rules as well.”
In the featherweight division Rikuto Shirakawa (9-8-1) has been matched with Jin Aoi (8-3-1). Coincidentally both men are coming off wins over Kotetsu Boku.
Shirakawa is an Osaka native. The venue will only be using 50% of its capacity but he wants to put on a show for his hometown fans,
“I’m excited to be fighting in my home town. I’m not sure if the Featherweight GP will take place, but even if it does my name has not been brought up. I will make sure my name will be remembered by the end of this fight.”
The four bantamweight Grand Prix matchups see Hiroki Yamashita (8-8) take on Takafumi Otsuka (28-18-1) and Kuya Ito (10-8-1) go up against Yuto Hokamura (13-9-2) while Kenta Takizawa (11-7) has been matched with Masakazu Imanari (38-2-19) and Kazuma Kuramoto (8-1) goes up against Alan Yamaniha (17-8-4).