On Sunday May 6th 2018, RIZIN will be kicking off their first event in Fukuoka which will be headlined by former UFC contenders, Kyoji Horiguchi vs Ian McCall.

TOKYO – On February 26th, RIZIN held a press conference with Kyoji Horiguchi and Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The media used this opportunity to hear the Bantamweight Champion’s thought and ideas.

Horiguchi’s comment:

“This will be my first fight in Fukuoka against a top fighter Ian McCall. I would like to put on a good performance to show the greatness of fighting. I would like to take on challenges this year, and would like start this year 2018 by winning against Ian McCall in a good way. Manel Kape vs Ian McCall was an accident, I don’t take anything away from Ian because of that fight. What he has done, and how he fought in the UFC, I have nothing but respect for him. I had plans for fighting Ian in the tournament, so I think I have a head start on my training camp I terms of strategy. He’s a very strong wrestler, so I think he’s going to try to take me down and grind. I don’t think he is going to want to stand with me at all. I have been training hard, and I will be ready to take on everything he delivers.”

Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara explained that the reasoning behind the matchup between Horiguchi vs McCall, was to put on the most anticipated fight that didn’t happened during last year’s Bantamweight tournament. And by bringing in all the Champions from 2017 will kick off a great start for RIZIN’s year 2018.

When asked about a potential super fight against kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa, the 27 year old ATT product answered, “If the fight against Tenshin Nasukawa will help the Japanese fight community regain popularity, I would love to do it. I come from a Karate background so there would be no difference fighting him under kickboxing rules, it will be a regular fight without grappling. The size of gloves won’t matter, if I land he will go down. He may be the superstar in kickboxing, but I am confident that my standup is better.”

This comment opens up many options for Horiguchi, and Sakakibara has hinted that RIZIN may have a kickboxing GP this year.

One additional fight was announced during the press conference.

Kick boxing rules

Issei Ishii vs Daishin Sakai

Both Issei Ishii and Daishin Sakai are 19 years old, and are College students. They both have tremendous amount of heart, and always put on an exciting performance. This fight is guaranteed fireworks.

[Confirmed bouts]


Kyoji Horiguchi vs Ian McCall

Kanna Asakura vs Melissa Karagianis

Manel Kape vs Kai Asakura

Weili Zhang vs Kanako Murata


Tenshin Nasukawa vs TBD

Tomohiro Kitai vs TBD

Issei Ishii vs Daishin Sakai

The event is scheduled to have a total of 12 fights.

Doors open at 1:30PM with Opening Ceremony at 2:30PM on Sunday May 6th at the Marine Messe Fukuoka. International tickets can be purchased at www.stubhub.com.

On Sunday May 6th 2018, RIZIN will be kicking off their first event in Fukuoka which will be headlined by former UFC contenders, Kyoji Horiguchi vs Ian McCall.

Dec 31, 2018
Saitama Super Arena
Saitama Super Arena

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