幻に終わったRIZIN.22のポスタービジュアルです。本当に残念です。我々RIZINスタッフ一同は、この苦難の時期にただ耐えるのでは無く、終息した後にパワーアップして皆さんをお迎えする為の準備期間にしたいと思います！“真夏の格闘技の祭典”を共に創造し、必ず実現させましょう！ pic.twitter.com/VrHQkY9vLQ— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 2, 2020
One of the last remaining significant MMA events in April has been canceled due to the coronavirus, as Rizin Fighting Federation is calling off Rizin 22.
On Thursday morning, Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara posted on Twitter that the event would not be taking place on April 19. Although the card has been scratched, Sakakibara has hopes that the promotion can put together a major show in the summer. No date for the next Rizin event has been targeted.
In his post, he wrote (via Google Translate), “It is a poster visual of RIZIN.22 that ended in a vision. It is really a pity. We, the RIZIN staff, do not just endure this time of hardship, but want to be ready to power up and greet you after the end! Create a “Midsummer Martial Arts Festival” together and make it a reality!”
No bouts had been formalized for the card, although the design of the poster featured several athletes Rizin lightweight grand prix winner Tofiq Musayev and former bantamweight champ Manel Kape -- although the latter signed with the UFC on Tuesday. The only fight considered at the time was a scrap between Mikuru Asakura and Kotetsu Boku at lightweight.
The event was scheduled for April 19 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. Rizin joins practically every other MMA promotion including the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA that have been forced to scrap cards shortly before taking place. In addition to the MMA community, virtually all major sporting leagues from the NBA to the NHL to pro boxing have shuttered their events out of concerns for the coronavirus.
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