Teenage striking sensation Tenshin Nasukawa may still be more kickboxer than mixed martial artist, but at the opening round of Rizin Fighting Federation's World Grand Prix 2017, he'll perhaps get to be both.
Monday, Rizin announced the addition of a mixed rules bout to its July 30 card at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, pitting the 18-year-old Nasukawa against fellow kickboxing convert Kizaemon Saiga in a flyweight contest.
The rule structure will be similar to “Jienotsu” Yuichiro Nagashima-Shinya Aoki bout from K-1 Premium Dynamite 2010, with a five-minute round of kickboxing with larger gloves, followed by a second round with MMA rules and gloves. Elbows are prohibited and the bout will be an automatic time limit draw after the 10 minutes, unless there have been yellow cards awarded in the bout.
While continuing his active and blossoming kickboxing career, Nasukawa has posted a 3-0 pro MMA mark, all under the Rizin banner. In April, he stylishly knocked out Italy's Francesco Ghigliotti out in 67 seconds. Saiga, 28, fought on the same Rizin card in April, dropping a unanimous decision to Seiichiro Ito.