UFC Veteran Kiichi Kunimoto to Face Satoru Kitaoka at Rizin’s Dec. 29 Event

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 12, 2017

Five-time UFC competitor Kiichi Kunimoto will square off against Satoru Kitaoka in a 165-pound catchweight fight at Rizin Fighting Federation’s Dec. 29 event in Saitama, Japan.

The card takes place at the Saitama Super Arena and features the quarterfinals of the bantamweight grand prix. The promotion also announced a clash between Hiroyuki Takaya and Baataryn Azjavkhlan and a women’s bout pitting Shizuka Sugiyama against Kana Wataabe.

The Japanese organization also revealed that Tenshin Nasukawa will meet Yuta Hamamoto as part of its four-man kickboxing tournament on Dec. 31. Mitsuhisa Sunabe will face Yamato Fujita in the other contest.

Kunimoto, 36, exited the UFC earlier this year on the heels of back-to-back defeats against Zak Ottow and Neil Magny. Prior to that, “Strasser” had won seven consecutive fights, including victories over Richard Walsh, Daniel Sarafian and Luiz Jorge Dutra Jr. in the Octagon. Kunimoto is 18-7-2 with one no contest over the course of his professional career.

The 37-year-old Kitaoka competed at Rizin’s July 30 event, losing to Yusuke Yachi via second-round technical knockout. Kitaoka debuted with Rizin last December, when he choked out UFC veteran Daron Cruickshank in the opening round of their encounter. The Nara, Japan, native owns a 40-15-9 career mark dating back to October 2000.

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