Photo Credit: @rizin_PR on Twitter

RIZIN Announces Four Fights, Including Tenshin and Cruickshank

On April 4, RIZIN FF tweeted out four new fight announcements. All four fights are scheduled to take place at RIZIN 10 – Fukuoka. The event, on May 6, takes place in Fukuoka, Japan.

In the first announced matchup, heavyweights collide in an MMA match. Suriname’s Jairzinho “Bigi Boy” Rozenstruik (4-0) puts his undefeated record on the line against fellow unbeaten fighter Andrey Kovalev (9-0).

Rozenstruik, 30, makes his RIZIN debut after accumulating four career wins. Of those four, all have come by way of knockout. In the entirety of his professional career, Rozenstruik has never had to fight past the first round. He’ll face the toughest test of his MMA career against Kovalev.

Prior to fighting in MMA, Rozenstruik put together an impressive kickboxing career. He holds an eye-opening record of 62-6-2 (52 KO).

His opponent, the Ukranian Andrey Kovalev, will also make his promotional debut. As a smaller heavyweight, Kovalev has nonetheless put together a stellar start to his career. At 24-years-old, there is plenty of room for growth in his game.

Kovalev will face a stiff test, however, in Rozenstruik. His opponent’s standup attack is well-honed, so Kovalev may look to take the fight to the ground. Despite the apparent mismatch on the feet, Kovalev is no slouch standing. He holds seven wins by knockout in his career, and of course, there’s this:

Kovalev has big aspirations for his RIZIN future, but he has to get through Rozenstruik first.

Next announced was a lightweight MMA match between Koshi Matsumoto and Daron Cruickshank. Matsumoto, a longtime Shooto veteran, makes his RIZIN debut opposite the “The Detroit Superstar”, Daron Cruickshank.

Matsumoto (19-7-2) comes into this contest on a three-fight winning streak since dropping a unanimous decision loss to Efrain Escudero in 2016. Of those three victories, two came by way of knockout. The Japanese lightweight and former Shooto lightweight champion last fought in March of this year, and will face a stiff test in Cruickshank.

Daron Cruickshank (18-10, 1 NC MMA, 2-2 RIZIN) has accomplish a great deal over his career. A veteran of the UFC, King of the Cage, and now RIZIN, Cruickshank has gathered a large fanbase for his exciting style and hilarious antics.

Cruickshank attacks with kicks

After two consecutive finishes to kick off his RIZIN career, Cruickshank has suffered a bit of a skid. The thirty-two year old was submitted by Satoru Kitaoka and finished by Yusuke Yachi in back-to-back losses. He’ll look to get back on track with a win over Matsumoto at RIZIN 10.

Women took center stage next, as RIZIN announced that Ayaka Hamasaki (14-2 MMA) would face Alyssa Garcia (3-4 MMA, 1-1 RIZIN) in an MMA match.

Hamasaki, 36, is a highly decorated fighter. A veteran of Jewels (where she was the lightweight – 115 pound – champion) and Invicta FC (where she is the atomweight – 105 pound – champion), Hamasaki has a stellar resume. She defended both of her titles multiple times en route to signing with RIZIN.

Owner of eight finishes, Hamasaki suffered her first defeat in six bouts in her last outing against Livia Renata Souza. Now, Hamasaki looks to get back on track and kick off a successful RIZIN career with a win over Garcia.

Garcia, however, is determined to thwart Hamasaki’s plan. Just twenty-four, Garcia has shown promise in her young MMA career. Having competed for BAMMA, Combate Americas, and now RIZIN, Garcia has traveled the globe in search of victory.

On the heels of a two-fight losing streak, Garcia will look to right the ship against Hamasaki and move to 2-1 in RIZIN FF.

Last but certainly not least, RIZIN announced their lone kickboxing match of the late-night frenzy. Tenshin Nasukawa is set to square off with Yusaku Nakamura at RIZIN 10, too.

Nineteen-year-old phenom Tenshin Nasukawa returns to the ring sporting undefeated records in both kickboxing and MMA. With a record of 25-0 (20 KOs) in kickboxing, and 4-0 MMA (2 KOs), it’s clear Nasukawa has a penchant not only for winning, but for winning in dramatic fashion.

As an amateur, Nasukawa amassed a 99-5 record before turning eighteen. He’s gone viral in the JMMA scene on numerous occasions for his exciting attacks, and looks to maintain his unbeaten record against Nakamura.

Nakamura is one person who won’t be buying into the Tenshin hype. At thirty-one years old with twenty professional MMA bouts to his name, Nakamura has seen it all.

With an MMA record of 14-5-1, Nakamura is confident in his skills. Out of his fourteen wins, seven have come by way of knockout. Nakamura took to Instagram to tout the upcoming matchup, describing it was a fight between an MMA fighter and a kickboxer.

With the addition of these four bouts, the RIZIN 10 – Fukuoka, on May 6 includes:

  • Kyogi Horiguchi vs. Ian McCall
  • Kanna Asakura vs. Melissa Karagianis
  • Kanako Murata vs. Weili Zhang
  • Kai Asakura vs. Manel Kape
  • Ante Deliha vs. Ricardo Prasel
  • Issei Ishii vs. Daishin Sakai *
  • Tomohiro Kitai vs. Kurogi Darvish *
  • Jair Rozenstruik vs. Andrey Kovalev
  • Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Alyssa Garcia
  • Koshi Matsumoto vs. Daron Cruickshank
  • Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Yusaku Nakamura *
(* = kickboxing match)

 

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Hey, all! My name is Michael Fiedel, and I'm from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I love everything there is about MMA, particularly jiu jitsu. I do my best to cover what's going on in the sport, and my favorite thing to do is cover up-and-coming prospects. Thanks for reading!

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