Amongst all the stellar RIZIN 17 and RIZIN 18 additions, some less-than-exciting news was also confirmed.
A kickboxing bout previously announced for RIZIN 17 featured Bellator Kickboxing’s Kevin Ross making his promotional debut against Daiki Watabe. On paper, this was a kickboxing match-up between two very elite – and similar – Muay Thai specialists. It was a bout to look out for, a bout to be excited for, but unfortunately, a bout that was just not meant to be.
It didn’t take long for the announcement to come that Kevin Ross would no longer be able to compete at RIZIN 17. He left this statement, revealing a “fractured and dislocated” right thumb, on his Instagram.
In Ross’ place steps RISE Kickboxing’s Hideki, of Bolivia. A former Shoot Boxing fighter, Hideki and Daiki Watabe have a ton in common, mainly that both are currently mainstays of RISE based in Japan. Last year, Watabe fought RISE champion BeyNoah in a must-see slugfest.
When slated to face Ross, Watabe was, in the eyes of many, the underdog. Now scheduled to fight Hideki, he will undeniably be the favorite to win. This is quite an unexpected opportunity for the technician, Hideki.
Unfortunately, that’s not all the only promotional debut postponement was announced.
Somehow flying very much under-the-radar, at RIZIN 16 it was announced that jiu-jitsu specialist Marcos de Souza had signed with RIZIN Fighting Federation and would debut at RIZIN 18 in August. A decorated Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner, de Souza transitioned to MMA back in 2012.
De Souza has compiled a record of 8-1 in MMA, with a predictable seven submission wins, largely under the REAL and Arzalet Fighting Championships.
In addition to Kevin Ross’ debut-postponing injury, The Body Lock has confirmed with multiple sources that Marcos de Souza had also suffered an injury of late. The BJJ world champion will no longer be able to make the August 18 card in Nagoya, Japan. Instead, “Marquinhos” will debut at RIZIN 19 in October.