Earlier this week, RIZIN FF CEO, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, posted a picture of himself with world-renowned pugilist Manny Pacquiao on Twitter. The caption suggested that Manny Pacquiao would be involved with the promotion in some way.
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— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 7, 2019
Today, during a press conference streamed live on Youtube, it was announced that Pacquiao would be joining the promotion in an ambassador type role where he would help bring young Filipino fighters to the Japanese promotion. RIZIN officials also announced that Pacquiao would be ringside for the upcoming event.
RIZIN officials also announced that kickboxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa would be returning to action at RIZIN 15 to take on MMA fighter and recent Muay Thai champion Fritz Biagtan in a kickboxing bout. Nasukawa’s last fight in the RIZIN ring was an exhibition against boxing stand out Floyd Mayweather on New Year’s Eve at RIZIN 14. Since then, Nasukawa rebounded with first-round cartwheel kick KO over Federico Roma in the Rise World Series opening round last month.
Also added to the card is a kickboxing match between Thalisson Gomes Ferreira and Taiga Kawabe. Both men lost in the opening round of the same Rise tournament that Nasukawa moved to the second round of.
RIZIN 15 is set to air April 21st at 12:00 am EST. The event will be headlined by a rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Their bout will be for the promotion’s inaugural light heavyweight belt.
Full fight card:
Jiri Prochazka vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal- for the inaugural light heavyweight championship
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ben Nguyen
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Fritz Biagtan
Miuru Asakura vs. Luis Gustavo
Kai Asukara vs. Justin Scoggins
Seiichiro Ito vs. Manel Knape
Rena Kubota vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
Koji Takeda vs. Damien Brown
Roberto de Souza vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Karl Albrektsson vs. Christiano Frolich
TAIGA Kawabe vs. Thalisson Gomes Ferreira
Kana Watanabe vs. Justyna Zofia Haba
Shinju Nozawa-Auclair vs. Saray Orozco
Brandon is a long-time fan of combat sports who has covered them for various outlets since 2017.