Rizin Fighting Federation's young kickboxing ace is booked for more MMA action and the promotion is keen to use more kickfighting talent.
Monday, Rizin added five new bouts to its Oct. 15 World Grand Prix 2017 card at Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan. South Korea's Jae Hoon Moon and France's Kevin Petshi will square off in the final opening round bantamweight tournament contest, while teenage striking sensation Tenshin Nasukawa will have his fourth pro MMA bout, facing boxing convert Yamato Fujita in a flyweight affair. Rizin also announced a trio of kickboxing bouts with no elbows: at 112 pounds, Issei Ishii meets Jin Mandokoro; Rise standout Yuki faces Kuroki Darvish at 132 pounds; and Yoshihisa Morimoto will do battle with Ryota Renseigym in a 129-pound affair.
The Moon-Petshi bout completes the 2017 Rizin bantamweight grand prix tournament with 14 competitors. After the three remaining opening round bouts are completed on the Oct. 15 card, each side of the tournament bracket will have a wild card entrant added directly into the quarterfinals alongside the six victorious fighters from the first phase.
Moon, 33, has spent nearly his entire career competing for Road Fighting Championship in his native South Korea. After consecutive losses to Min Woo Kim and Japanese veteran Taiyo Nakahara, Moon rebounded with a third-round knockout of Kai Asakura this past June. Moon is 2-3 in his last five bouts.
The 27-year-old Petshi has won three in a row, all by rear-naked choke. In April, “The Machine Gun” tapped Martin Akhtar in Stockholm, Sweden to take the Superior Challenge bantamweight title.
Nasukawa picked up his third MMA win at Rizin's April card in Yokohama, icing Italian Francesco Ghigliotti with a head kick and punches in a mere 67 seconds. The striking prodigy, who just turned 19 on Aug. 18, has been active since: at Rizin's 2017 World Grand Prix kickoff in July, he knocked out fellow kickboxer Kizaemon Saiga in a mixed rules contest. Three weeks later, he stopped former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadium champion Wisanlek via cut in the third round.
Fujita hails from a prominent family in Japanese amateur boxing, but after failing to make the 2016 Olympic Games, decided to focus his attentions on MMA. Fujita had his first amateur bout in May, armbarring Ibuki Matsumaru, and returned two weeks later to win a two-round unanimous decision over Kengo Suzuki. The Nasukawa bout will be his pro MMA debut.