Yusuke Yachi, Roberto de Souza top RIZIN 22 next month
The return of RIZIN Fighting Federation is upon us! The promotion is coming back with a rare summer double-header as RIZIN 22 and RIZIN 23 will take place on back-to-back nights in August – August 9 and August 10 to be exact.
The main event will feature two of the promotion’s top lightweights in action. Japanese fan-favorite striker Yusuke Yachi (21-9) will face a Brazilian who calls Japan home in the form of BJJ ace Roberto de Souza (9-1), often referred to as simply Roberto Satoshi.
One of the biggest stars out of the famed KRAZY BEE gym, Yusuke Yachi has consistently provided one thing throughout his RIZIN run, and that one thing is excitement. Throughout his near four-year run with the promotion, Yachi has amassed a solid record of 6-3. This includes a five-fight win streak upon debuting in December of 2016, including victories over Satoru Kitaoka, Diego Nunes, Daron Cruickshank, and Takanori Gomi. This run truly made him a star in Japan, and people worldwide started to take notice.
Unfortunately, the run had to come to an end eventually. In his sixth fight with RIZIN, he faced a debuting Luiz Gustavo who stunned with a shocking second-round knockout win. This was the start of a three-fight skid for Yachi that saw him lose to Johnny Case and Mikuru Asakura. Back in December at the Bellator Japan show, on an undercard co-promoted with RIZIN Fighting Federation, Yusuke Yachi defeated a soccerkick connoisseur in Hiroto Uesako by, you guessed it, a vicious soccerkick. It was an outstanding return to form for the 30-year-old, and now he’ll look to keep the wins coming in August.
His opponent next month in Yokohama will be a relatively new stylistic match-up for him in the form of savvy grappler Roberto de Souza.
With multiple grappling titles to his name, de Souza made his debut with RIZIN last year and kicked things off with a bang as he knocked out a Japanese legend in Satoru Kitaoka. Not only was it a shock to see the grappler de Souza get a knockout of that caliber in his debut, but he did it again in his second fight in the organization, this time against UFC veteran Mizuto Hirota.
The perfect start to his RIZIN career earned de Souza a spot in RIZIN’s lightweight grand-prix last year. Sadly for the streaking Brazilian, he lost in the opening round of said tournament to UFC veteran Johnny Case. Most recently, back in February, Roberto de Souza competed in a grappling match at RIZIN 21 where he faced five people in a 1v5 gauntlet of sorts. Satoshi was able to submit Yuna Kimura, Koji Shigemizu, Edison Kagohara, Hiroshi Shinagawa, and the legendary Yuki Nakai.
It is worth nothing, Yachi has faced plenty of grapplers throughout his career. Namely Kleber Koike Erbst under the Pancrase banner in 2016 – a fight that saw Yachi submit to Erbst.
That’s not all set for RIZIN 22, though.
Former champion Ayaka Hamasaki will return against DEEP JEWELS title-holder Tomo Maesawa as former title-challenger Kanna Asakura faces a top-ranked DEEP JEWELS atomweight contender in Mizuki Furuse.
RIZIN 22 will take place on August 9, 2020 live from the Pia Arena MMA in Yokohama, Japan.
Fighters also scheduled to compete at RIZIN 22 include Erson Yamamoto, Kenji Kato, Rui Ebata, Naoki Inoue, Shooto Watanabe, Tetsuya Seki, Nadaka Yoshinari, and Rikuto Shirakawa. Check out the full RIZIN 22 card below!
Yusuke Yachi vs. Roberto de Souza
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Tomo Maesawa
Kanna Asakura vs. Mizuki Furuse
Erson Yamamoto vs. Kenji Kato
Rui Ebata vs. Seiki Ueyama – Kickboxing
Naoki Inoue vs. Shooto Watanabe
Tetsuya Seki vs. Koyta Kanda
Nadaka Yoshinari vs. Yuushin – Kickboxing
Rikuto Shirakawa vs. Kyohei Hagiwara
* Bout Order TBA