Yuta Sasaki vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari, Two Other Bouts Set for Rizin 17

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 3, 2019

Ex-UFC talent Yuta Sasaki will square off against Shintaro Ishiwatari at Rizin Fighting Federation 17.

The Japanese promotion recently confirmed the bantamweight pairing. Additionally, Mikuru Asakura will meet Yusuke Yachi at lightweight, while Yuki Motoya will lock horns with Hiromasa Ogikubo. Rizin 17 takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on July 28.

Sasaki went 4-5 in the Octagon from August 2014 to November 2018 before making his Rizin debut with a unanimous decision triumph over Manel Kape on New Year’s Eve. Ishiwatari is coming off a second-round knockout loss to Rizin bantamweight champ Kyoji Horiguchi in December 2017.

Asakura, 26, has won nine of 11 professional bouts — including four straight under the Rizin banner. Yachi will attempt to halt a two-bout skid, which includes a second-round TKO defeat to Johnny Case in his most recent outing at Rizin 14.

Motoya last appeared for Rizin on New Year’s Eve, when he submitted UFC veteran Justin Scoggins with a scissor choke in the opening stanza. Ogikubo, who reached the finals on Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has won eight of his last nine contests, with his lone defeat during that stretch coming at the hands of Horiguchi at Rizin 11.


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