RIZIN 17 is set to take over the Saitama Super Arena next weekend, and we finally have the offical bout order for this stacked card.
In the main event will be the first fight announced for the card; a lightweight grudge match between Yusuke Yachi and surging featherweight Mikuru Asakura. The co-main event(s) is somewhat shared between two pivotal bantamweight match-ups. In the second-to-last fight of the night, former Pancrase champion and RIZIN Grand-Prix runner-up Shintaro Ishiwatari and UFC veteran Ulka Sasaski face off. Immediately prior to this, Shooto champ and TUF 24 runner-up Hiromasa Ogikubo faces former DEEP title-holder Yuki Motoya.
Those two bantamweight match-ups may determine the next challenger for Kyoji Horiguchi following his RIZIN 18 bout against Kai Asakura.
Rounding out the top of the card, undefeated Russian powerhouse Ivan Shtyrkov faces ROAD FC’s Hoon Kim, and a kickboxing contest between K-1 veteran TAIGA and Hikaru Machida. Immediately prior to these five match-ups will be the sole announced intermission of the night.
The card will open with the first of two kickboxing match-ups of the night, as Daiki Watabe faces HIDEKI. Immediately following this bout will be the return of Reina Miura as she takes on Stephanie Egger. The Miura fight will be followed up with the second of two female bouts on the card, as ROAD FC champion Seo Hee Ham makes her highly-anticipated RIZIN debut against fellow debutant, and DEEP JEWELS champ, Tomo Maesawa.
Match #4 features one of the most highly-anticipated debuts in recent memory as cult-favorite Vitaly Shemetov takes on Jake Heun in a classic Russia vs. USA bout. Following this, BJJ ace Roberto de Souza returns against a UFC veteran in the form of Mizuto Hirota.
The final two bouts prior to the announced intermission feature two Japanese legends. Tatsuya Kawajiri returns to face a lethal Russian in the form of Ali Abdulkhalikov, and Satoru Kitaoka faces top-ranked RIZIN lightweight Johnny Case.
It has been rumored that Souza/Hirota, Kawajiri/Abdulkhalikov, and Kitaoka/Case will be RIZIN Lightweight Grand-Prix qualifiers. The tournament will officially begin at RIZIN 19 in October.
Check out the full RIZIN 17 fight card below. Be sure to order this stacked card on FITE TV ahead of the event next weekend, July 28.
Mikuru Asakura vs. Yusuke Yachi
Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Ulka Sasaki
Hiromasa Ogikubo vs. Yuki Motoya
Ivan Shtyrkov vs. Hoon Kim
TAIGA vs. Hikaru Machida
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Johnny Case
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov
Roberto de Souza vs. Mizuto Hirota
Vitaly Shemetov vs. Jake Heun
Seo Hee Ham vs. Tomo Maesawa
King Reina vs. Stephanie Egger
Daiki Watabe vs. HIDEKI