Tofiq Musayev and Roberto de Souza will vie for the inaugural lightweight crown at Rizin 28.
The Japanese promotion recently announced the pairing. Rizin 28 takes place at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, on June 13 and will also see reigning featherweight champion Yutaka Saito square off against Vugar Karamov in a non-title affair.
Two other matchups were also confirmed for the event: Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Shoma Shibisai at heavyweight and kickboxing champ Noah Bey in his MMA debut against Satoshi Yamasu.
Also noteworthy was the promotion’s announcement of two rule changes. While elbows to the face were once only allowed if both parties agreed to use them, now that maneuver is legal in all Rizin bouts — with no restriction to the angle of the elbow strike. Meanwhile, vaseline, which was previously prohibited in Rizin, will now be allowed to be applied by officials before a fight and in between rounds.
Musaev, who has not competed since 2019, is currently on a 14-bout professional winning streak. He is coming off a run through the promotion’s lightweight grand prix in which he defeated Damien Brown, Johnny Case and Patricky Freire.
“Satoshi” has been victorious in 11 of 12 pro outings, including back-to-back first-round finishes of Yusuke Yachi and Kazuki Tokudome in his last two Rizin appearances. The 31-year-old Brazilian has finished all of his career triumphs inside the distance.
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