After his absolutely stunning 60-second starching of multi-promotion champion Kyoji Horiguchi, a star has been made out of the younger Asakura brother. Kai Asakura (13-1) will not be taking time off, however. As he is set to return in just two weeks at RIZIN 19.
His opponent? None other than UFC-veteran Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki (22-7-2).
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Asakura’s August 18 win over Horiguchi marked, irrefutably, the biggest of his career. Since joining RIZIN in December of 2017 as a champion of The Outsider and a three-fight vet of ROAD Fighting Championship, Asakura has yet to lose and secured himself five-straight wins. Following a vicious debut knockout against Kizaemon Saiga, the finisher Asakura went on to win three-straight fights by way of decision. Those three wins came against top-prospect Manel Kape in a somewhat controversial call, fast-rising star Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai in an ultra-calculated performance, and Je Hoon Moon, the only man to ever defeat Asakura.
The previous win against Horiguchi was staggering, but it was not for Kyoji Horiguchi’s RIZIN bantamweight title. Because of this, Kai Asakura has basically punched his ticket to a December 31 rematch with Horiguchi, this time with gold on the line. Before his clash with RIZIN and Bellator champion Kyoji Horiguchi, Asakura has boldly accepted this bout at RIZIN 19.
Ulka Sasaki is coming off a loss, his first in RIZIN, but his skills cannot be understated.
The longtime UFC fighter joined the RIZIN ranks back in December and picked up a huge debut win over a surging Manel Kape. Following this, Sasaki was given another huge outing. This time against longtime Pancrase king Shintaro Ishiwatari. Unfortunately, the former Shooto champion fell short and was brutally finished by an absurdly elite Ishiwatari in round two.
Another addition to the RIZIN 19 show includes local kickboxing action as Shoot Boxing fighter Seiki Ueyama (22-11) faced DEEP KICK staple Taisei Umei (7-6).
RIZIN 19 is slated to go down on October 12, live from the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan. The card will feature the return of light heavyweight champ Jiri Prochazka, ROAD FC champ Seo Hee Ham, and Japanese stars Rena Kubota and Miyuu Yamamoto. The main focus of the night, though? The opening round of RIZIN’s eight-man lightweight tournament that features Tatsuya Kawajiri, Johnny Case, Damien Brown, and the debut of Bellator mainstay Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.