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.
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Got some bad news yesterday, well I never like to say bad as we never know where things will lead. The worst situations can result in the best outcomes just as the best can end up being the worst. Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. Either way it’s unfortunate and I am extremely disappointed and bummed out. Fractured and dislocated the thumb on my right hand during sparring ☹😢☹ It happened in the third round but I just thought I had jammed it and continued going for another seven/eight rounds. The swelling got so bad that I wanted to get it checked out just to make sure, although I was still hoping for the best. I’ve been here before, more times than I could ever count, and know the drill. Got a meeting with my orthopedic surgeon today so we will see what they say. I’ll keep you all in the loop. My deepest apologies to @rizin_pr and to my opponent @daikick7 🙏 I was really looking forward to us putting on a show for the fans. I will be continuing my training every day, not stopping or slowing down, and sharpening up my tools. As soon as I’m healed up and cleared I will be back in the ring better than ever. Thank you to my amazing sponsors @MonsterEnergy and @Triumphunited for sticking by me through all the ups and downs of this journey and giving me the ability to stay focused on being the best that I can be 👊 #kevinross #thesoulassassin #muaythai #kickboxing
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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.