Rizin 30 to Include Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals, Return of Ayaka Hamasaki

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 20, 2021

A quartet of bantamweight grand prix quarterfinals will be the featured attraction at Rizin Fighting Federation 30 on Sept. 19.

The Japanese promotion recently announced the pairings for its bracket, which are as follows: Kai Asakura vs. Alan Yoshihiro Yamaniha, Naoki Inoue vs. Yuto Hokamura, Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. Takafumi Otsuka and Kenta Takizawa vs. Yuki Motoya. Rizin officials determined the matchups for the quarterfinals.

“We matched the fight where we won’t have any rematches and have new, intriguing fights for the quarterfinals of the bantamweight grand prix,” Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara said at a press conference. “We will prepare the event to host 5,000 spectators at the moment and hopefully the government will allow us to open up the arena for additional spectators. The Tokyo Olympics will be held under tough situations and right now the media is not putting the spotlight on the athletes. We will support our fighters and do everything we need to put the spotlight on our fighters and tell their story.”

Rizin 30 takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and is available via pay-per-view via Rizin Live. The card will also see the return of atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki, as she faces Emi Fujino in a non-title bout. Hamasaki defeated Fujino under the Jewels banner in December 2012.

“Last time we fought I beat her by decision. I’m glad that we got to meet again after nine years,” Hamasaki said. “We will be fighting at a lower weight class this time and I appreciate her coming down. I have no plans of being friendly and I will finish the fight this time by knockout or a submission.”

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