TOKYO – November 1, 2016 – RIZIN FF announced two star-studded, matchups today – for the Feather weight matchup (145lbs) undefeated Kron Gracie (3-0) versus veteran star Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri (35-10-2), and a much-anticipated rematch at 67kg (147.7lb) catch weight between Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (30-30-2) and Minoru “Philip” Kimura (MMA: 0-1, Kickboxing: 21-6-1, 15 KO’s) – for the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) federation’s mega-event on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.

Fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif., the 28-year-old Gracie, the son of legendary master Rickson and grandson of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu founder Helio, is coming off a spectacular, first round (9:40) submission (rear-naked choke) of battle-tested K-1 and DREAM veteran Hideo Tokoro at the stacked RIZIN FF card on September 25.

A longtime Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and black belt, as well as a former ADCC Submission Wrestling Championships tournament winner, Gracie has yet to be pushed past the first round of battle in any of his MMA starts.

Kawajiri of Inashiki, Ibaraki, Japan is a 38-year-old, established star and former Shooto lightweight (155 pounds) world champion whose signing to a promotional agreement with RIZIN FF was announced last week, shortly after he parted ways with his previous promoter, the UFC.

During his storied, 16-year professional career that has included stints nearly every major Japanese fight franchise, including PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM and Dynamite!!, Kawajiri has faced and defeated a collection of rival champions and other standout competitors, including Yves Edwards, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro and Josh Thomson.

The second meeting between Bennett of Ocala, Fla. and Kimura of Japan via Curitiba, Brazil will occur just three months after the two faced off in the RIZIN FF ring where Bennett scored a thunderous, highlight reel knockout on Kimura in a mere seven seconds with a flying right hand to the temple, followed by a barrage of finishing punches to the downed Kimura.

For the 36-year-old Bennett, a 17-year MMA veteran, the win was arguably his most explosive and shocking since he scored a first round (3:43) knockout on a heavily favored K.J. Noons with a single punch on February 10, 2007.

One fight prior to the victory over Kimura, Bennett notched another speedy, first round (:43) conquest, submitting Paul Rodriguez with a heel hook on May 14.

A 2012 Japan super lightweight kickboxing champion, the 23-year-old Kimura who was born in Curitiba, but relocated to Japan at age three, has been ranked as high as number two in the world in kickboxing’s featherweight division.

Kimura has climbed his way up the rankings by defeating several notable opponents, including Kaew Fairtex of Thailand and Hideaki Yamazaki and Masaaki Noiri of Japan.

Last week, RIZIN FF announced the signing of heavyweight superstar Shane Carwin (12-2) who will make his federation debut as a wild card entrant in the 16-man, open weight tournament that kicked off on September 25, and continues on December 29.

The RIZIN FF New Year’s extravaganza will consist of two fight cards – the first on December 29, and the second on December 31. Additional bouts for each card will be announced soon.