22-year-old Japanese star Kanna Asakura (15-4) of Paraestra Matsudo returns to the cage as she takes on King of the Cage title-holder Jayme Hinshaw (4-3) of Fit NHB Mixed Martial Arts. The brother of RIZIN fighter Vitaly, Sergey Shemetov (9-6) of Russia faces a local in the form of Ganryujima veteran Shoma Shibisai (5-2, 1NC) in heavyweight action.
UFC 251 is next Saturday!
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Training under the likes of Hiromasa Ogikubo and Yoshihiro Koyama, the young Kanna Asakura has proven to a high-level talent despite the losses in those pivotal match-ups recently. Losing her RIZIN debut against a pupil of Josh Barnett, Alyssa Garcia, we then began to see the rise of Kanna Asakura as she won 8-straight under the RIZIN and DEEP banners. This included two wins over RENA, a victory over Saori Ishioka, and a RIZIN Grand-Prix title. All of this earned her a shot at the first-ever RIZIN super atomweight title where she would unfortunately get submitted by the great Ayaka Hamasaki. Bouncing back with a win over DEEP JEWELS title-holder Tomo Maesawa, Asakura was give a fight that would determine who would be given a #1 contender fight. He she lost to wrestling powerhouse Miyuu Yamamoto. Back in August, Asakura won a narrow split decision against Alesha Zappitella.
Jayme “ATOMBOMB” Hinshaw is a winner of three-straight, but has not competed since July of 2018. The KOTC champion holds win over current ONE Championship athlete Bi Nguyen and RIZIN veteran Melissa Karagianis. It is worth noting that Asakura has fought and defeated Karagianis by unanimous decision, whereas Hinshaw has fought Karagianis twice, submitting her in both bouts. Jayme Hinshaw has a loss to Zappitella, who Asakura defeated, as well as another RIZIN alum in Cassie Robb.
“Siberian” Sergey has been out of action since 2015 following the cancellation of what could have been a breakout fight for him against Brett Rogers in 2016 at an event in Ecuador. The card was also supposed to feature his brother Vitaly, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to an earthquake. Despite the massive layoff, Shemetov has won five-straight, all by way of finish. This includes four knockouts and a slick omoplata submission.
The maestro of pit fighting, Shoma Shibisai made his RIZIN debut in a massive freakshow bout against a hand-picked Mongolian in Unurjargal Boldpurev at RIZIN 11. It was a terrible fight, mostly due to Boldpurev’s absolute insistence on not fighting, Boldpurev got the judge’s nod. The Mongolian was, unsurprisingly, not invited back to RIZIN. Shibisai was, however, after two more Ganryujima outings. He quickly submitted Chang Hee Kim at RIZIN 19 in October.
Perhaps in the most surprising addition, it will be a caged kickboxing contest between Ren Hiramoto and Takahiro Ashida. At just 21-years-old, Hiramoto has quickly become one of kickboxing’s most talked about prospects. In 2018 he became the first man to knock out three-time K-1 World Grand-Prix champion and former WBC Muay Thai title-holder Kaew Fairtex who has had nearly 200 fights.
These fights will take place on the Bellator Japan post-lims, which is essentially a RIZIN card in and of itself. Though these will take place in Bellator’s cage, RIZIN rules will be in place.