In almost exactly a months time, RIZIN will hold their 19th event as RIZIN 19 takes place in Osaka, Japan on October 12.
UFC 251 is next Saturday!
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RIZIN revealed on Wednesday morning who the participants of their upcoming eight-man lightweight Grand Prix tournament will be. The specific matchups have yet to be announced.
- Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (21-8)
- Johnny Case (26-6-1)
- Luiz Gustavo (9-1)
- Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-13-2)
- Tofiq Musaev (15-3)
- Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza (9-0)
- Damien Brown (19-12)
- Hiroto Uesako (16-7)
The most notable participant of the stacked lineup is obviously the Bellator legend, one-half of the Pitbull brothers, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
Both Pitbull brothers have expressed their interest in competing in RIZIN in the past and now one will finally get to make it happen. Patricio, on the other hand, is busy competing in the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix while holding his two title belts.
Along with these to be determined lightweight matchups, we’ll be getting to see newly crowned light heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka (24-3-1) compete for the first time since winning his title. He faces UFC veteran, Fabio Maldonado (24-12) in a 220-pound catchweight affair.
Speaking of champions, the Road FC atomweight champion, Seo Hee Ham (21-8) will also be making her return to the ring. She fights for the second time in the promotion when she stands across from none other than the ageless Miyuu Yamamoto (5-3).
Japanese superstar, Rena Kubota (8-3) will also be returning to action after an unsuccessful debut in America and Bellator. Kubota would go against Lindsey VanZandt at Bellator 222 in June and suffer a first-round submission loss by rear-naked choke. She’ll be welcoming Shawna Ram (1-0) to the RIZIN ring.
“I am sorry to have disappointed you all in New York,” Rena said of her loss to VanZandt via the RIZIN 19 press release. “I hit rock bottom but I am now back on track and ready to start climbing the ladder once again. I am nothing but grateful that RIZIN gave me an offer in my hometown Osaka, so I would like to show my hometown fans an exciting finish.”
Capping off the handful of bout announcements is a welterweight collision. BJJ ace, Marcos de Souza (8-1), will welcome UFC veteran, Keita Nakamura (34-10-2) to RIZIN. Nakamura enjoyed an eight-fight stint in the UFC that saw him alternate wins and losses to go 4-4.
Expect more fights to be revealed for RIZIN 19 in the coming weeks as well as the opening round Grand Prix matchups.
- Catchweight – 220lbs: Jiri Prochazka vs Fabio Maldonado
- Super Atomweight – 108lbs: Seo Hee Ham vs Miyuu Yamamoto
- Welterweight – 170lbs: Marcos de Souza vs Keita Nakamura
- Catchweight – 112lbs: Rena Kubota vs Shawna Ram
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at: "Drake Riggs" where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.