Daron Cruickshank vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Andy Souwer vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Gabi Garcia vs. Shinobu Kandori

TOKYO – November 29, 2016 – RIZIN FF has announced three new, star-studded matchups, including two lightweight (155 pounds) contests – Daron Cruickshank (18-8, 1 NC) vs. Satoru Kitaoka (39-14-9) and Andy Souwer (MMA: 1-1, Kickboxing: 160-19-1, 98 KO’s) vs. Kazuyuki “Little Hercules” Miyata (14-9) – for its highly-anticipated, three-day Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) extravaganza, beginning Thursday, December 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

In the third tilt, undefeated women’s upstart and nine-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Gabi Garcia (3-0) will collide with former Judo world championship medalist and women’s professional wrestling pioneer Shinobu Kandori (4-1) at a weight limit to be determined.

The three-day event, which will be comprised of two fight cards on December 29 and December 31, as well as a fan expo on December 30, will be headlined by the conclusion of the historic, 16-man open weight tournament.

Daron Cruickshank vs. Satoru Kitaoka

The 5-foot-8, 31-year-old Cruickshank of Wayne, Mich. is coming off a superb, first round (4:10) submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Souwer at the RIZIN FF World Grand Prix 2016: Opening Round event at Saitama Super Arena on September 25. The win was the second straight as well as second overall for Cruickshank under the promotion of RIZIN FF.

Cruickshank signed with RIZIN FF after parting ways with the UFC where he enjoyed a 13-fight stint, and picked up victories over the likes of Yves Edwards, Mike Rio and Erik Koch along the way.

Hailing from Nara, Japan, Kitaoka is a 5-foot-6, 36-year-old reigning lightweight champion of Deep and a veteran of several other elite-level MMA leagues in his home country, including Pancrase, World Victory Road and DREAM.

A submission expert who holds multiple grappling titles, Kitaoka was also the winner of the 2008 Sengoku eight-man lightweight Grand Prix tournament that unfolded over the course of two events.

After submitting Clay French with an achilles lock just 31 seconds into their quarterfinal stage battle on August 24, 2008, Kitaoka continued his way to the tournament title on November 1, 2008, submitting Eiji Mitsuoka with a heel hook in the first round (1:16) of the semifinal stage of battle, and earning a unanimous decision over Kazunori Yokota in the championship showdown.

Andy Souwer vs. Kazuyuki Miyata

The 5-foot-9, 34-year-old Souwer of Den Bosch, Netherlands is a two-time K-1 World Max tournament champion and a four-time shootboxing world tournament champion who fights out of the famed Mejiro Gym that has produced some of the planet’s greatest kickboxing legends, including three-time K-1 World Grand Prix heavyweight champion Peter Aerts.

During his storied, 17-year professional kickboxing career, Souwer has faced and defeated every major rival of his era, including fellow, former K-1 Max champions Buakaw Por Pramuk, Masato, Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Albert Kraus.

Fighting out of Tokyo, the 5-foot-7, 40-year-old Miyata was a member of Japan’s 2000 Summer Olympics freestyle wrestling team, as well as a standout competitor for Nippon University’s wrestling squad.

During his MMA career that has spanned over a decade, Miyata has done battle under the promotion of DREAM, K-1 and Deep among others, and is riding a three-fight win streak. His highest profile victory to date came at Dynamite!! on December 31, 2010 when Miyata earned a unanimous decision over former, two-time UFC championship challenger, Caol Uno.

Gabi Garcia vs. Shinobu Kandori

A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Garcia is a 6-foot-2, 31-year-old resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. who has dominated her competition in the world of MMA since making her professional debut at the inaugural RIZIN FF event on December 31, 2015 when she scored a first round (2:36) TKO (punches) on professional wrestler Lei’D Tapa.

In her last start, Garcia, a protégé of former UFC and Strikeforce star Renato “Babalu” Sobral, submitted professional football player and fellow MMA upstart Destanie Yarbrough with a keylock in the first round (2:42) of their RIZIN FF matchup on September 25.

An unconventional opponent, Kandori is a 5-foot-7, 52-year-old combat sports icon turned politician who serves as a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet, or national legislature of Japan.

Kandori earned a bronze medal at the 1984 World Judo Championships in Vienna, Austria as well as national Judo championships for three consecutive years between 1983 and 1985, before going on to compete for a number of different professional wrestling organizations, including Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling, for a span of over 20 years.

As an MMA competitor, Kandori notched all four of her career wins by way of submission, and placed as runner-up in the eight-woman LLPW – Ultimate L-1 Tournament on July 18, 1995.