Some notable names have been added to Rizin Fighting Federation’s year-end extravaganza.
The Japanese promotion will hold events on Dec. 29 and Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The initial card will include the quarterfinals of the men’s bantamweight grand prix, while the Dec. 31 offering will feature the bantamweight semifinals and finals as well as the women’s super atomweight tournament semifinals and finals.
The promotion announced Wednesday that 13-time UFC veteran and former Pride Fighting championships superstar Takanori Gomi will lock horns with Yusuke Yachi on Dec. 31. Gomi exited the UFC on a five-bout skid, while Yachi has won four in a row — including KO/TKO wins over Satoru Kitaoka, Daron Cruickshank and Mario Sismundo.
Meanwhile, Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Gabi Garcia will square off against Shinobu Kandori at 209 pounds on Dec. 29. Garcia last appeared at Rizin’s July 30 event, where her bout against Oksana Gagloeva was declared a no contest due to an accidental eye poke. The 32-year-old Brazilian had won her first four bouts under the Rizin banner inside two rounds. Kandori owns a 4-1 career mark and was supposed to face Garcia at Rizin’s year-end event in 2016 before withdrawing due to injury.
Finally, the promotion also revealed that a one-night, four-man kickboxing tournament will take place on Dec. 31, with Mitsuhisa Sunabe facing Yamato Fujita and Tenshin Nasukawa meeting an as-yet-to-be determined opponent.