Rizin has completed its line-up and bout order its World Grand Prix 2017 kickoff card, set for July 30 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and added a flyweight contest between Nozawa-Auclair and Sheena “Star” Brandenburg to the bill. It will be the professional debut for both women.
The 23-year-old Nozawa-Auclair had her first MMA bout just this past February, posting a 2-1 mark in amateur competition, competing in Michigan and Ohio; her lone loss came in March to Chelsea LaGrasse, where she was disqualified for an illegal kick to her downed opponent. Nozawa-Auclair's amateur exploits stateside have earned her considerable media attention in Japan: the Scorpion Fighting System product is the eldest daughter of Japanese comedian Naoko Nozawa. A member of the influential Yoshimoto Kogyo talent conglomerate, the 54-year-old Nozawa most recently started a garage punk band called Electric Machine Gun Tits, releasing their debut album “Love and Puke” this past June.
Brandenburg, 34, has posted a meagre 3-17 record in amateur competition. The Michigan native is on a six-fight losing skid and all 17 of her losses have come by stoppage.
Rizin's World Grand Prix 2017 card will see the beginning of the promotion's bantamweight tournament with opening round bouts between Keita Ishibashi and Khalid Taha, Anthony Birchak and Takafumi Otsuka and the card's headliner, former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi facing veteran Japanese star Hideo Tokoro.