RIZIN Fighting Federation, much like almost every other sports organization worldwide, has been staying away from hosting live events during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, the last time RIZIN held an event was back in late February when they ran RIZIN 21 live from the Hamamatsu Arena.
On that night, budding superstar Mikuru Asakura headlined and took out Daniel Salas. Following the bought, former ONE Championship title-holder Kotetsu Boku hit the ring to challenge Asakura to a bout at RIZIN 22. This was originally scheduled for April before facing a cancellation.
Now, for months, no one had any idea when or where we’d see a live RIZIN event again. There was public talks about a potential summer “mega-show,” but there didn’t appear to be much to them given the fact this pandemic has essentially shut everything down.
Well, on May 23, kickboxing brothers TAIGA and HIROYA appeared on a live show and revealed RIZIN’s (tentative) plans at a return.
According to the brothers we will see three-straight months featuring a show from the promotion, starting in late July which is reportedly going to take place in Osaka. Then sometime in August, RIZIN heads to Yokohama once again before holding a show in Saitama during the month of September.
Also today, a twitter user who typically posts relatively reliable tidbits of information leaked more dates and conflicting reports. Twitter user @igf123da echoed the sentiment of dates in the previously revealed months. But he also included a to-be-announced event & location for June, which seems very unlikely.
He speaks of the July Osaka events, but claims that the show planned for August will happen in the Kanto region – ‘possible Tokyo’. The user then claims the September show at the Saitama Super Arena will utilize the venues ‘stadium mode’, which increases the capacity greatly. If true, this may mean that RIZIN is still planning on holding the ‘mega-event’, but have decided to bring it to the Saitama Super Arena instead of shooting for the stars and targeting the Tokyo Dome.
In bits of new information, user @igf123da is insisting RIZIN is indeed heading to Yokohama, but it will be in October and not August as HIROYA and TAIGA claimed. This along with a supposed Sendai event in November before the typical two-event stretch at the Saitama Super Arena in December.
Take this information however you’d like. I don’t know if the rumored six-month stretch has much weight to it – especially considering the rumor of a June event. With that being said, I have no reason to call HIROYA and TAIGA liars in claiming RIZIN will return with a three-event stretch over the summer.
Stay tuned for more official announcements which will surely be coming soon.