Photo Credit: RIZIN

RIZIN in Fukuoka tacks on Tenshin Nasukawa, Jea-Hoon Moon and 3 Kickboxing Bouts

RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2017 Autumn: Aki no Jin will happen in Fukuoka, Japan at the Marine Messe Fukuoka on October 15th, 2017.

On September 11th, RIZIN Fighting Federation publicized at a press conference that five more bouts will be added to the event in Fukuoka which include Tenshin Nasukawa making his return to the MMA realm, ROAD FC veteran Jea-Hoon Moon entering the Bantamweight Grand Prix and three kickboxing matches.

The focus of the day was clearly the announcement of 19-year-old kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa taking on RIZIN debutant Yamato Fujita in the flyweight division (57kg).

Tenshin has been jumping back and forth from kickboxing to mixed martial arts for the last couple of years and has been quite successful. He is undefeated fighting for RIZIN and has finished all of his opponents in devastating fashion.

Fujita, on the other hand, will be making his professional debut at the event. He was a top amateur boxer and transitioned to MMA after numerous years of training. Even though he is a proponent of the sweet science, he’s had an interest in the grappling arts since his high school days.

During the presser, these two strikers had some interesting banter.

Fujita spoke first, “I hope that he fights against me with his punches. I can show him the difference in skill level when it comes to punching and strikes. I hope he mans up and fights me in a slugfest.”

Tenshin countered by saying, “I have seen some of his boxing fights. He’s good and he’s tough but not nearly at my level. He is a boxer and I’m thinking I might just fight his game. I might fight him just with punches, I don’t know.”

This is a humungous mountain to climb especially on such a big stage but Fujita seems very confident that he will derail the hype train of Tenshin Nasukawa.

In addition to this, South Korean TKD master Jea-Hoon Moon and Sanda practitioner Kevin Petshi will battle in RIZIN’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.

Moon has been fighting exclusively for ROAD Fighting Championship since 2011 and holds victories over current ROAD FC bantamweight champion Soo-Chul Kim, UFC vet Marcos Vinicius and Japanese warhorse Yuta Nezu. Most recently, he knocked out rising flyweight prospect Kai Asakura at ROAD FC 39 last June.

Stepping in on the other side of the ring will be Frenchman “The Machine Gun” Petshi who is riding a three fight win streak. The Superior Challenge Bantamweight Champion has fought for various organizations around the world and is considered one of the best bantamweights coming out of western Europe.

Both combatants are eager to fight at the highest level so getting a chance at competing against some of the best could turn them into big stars in the MMA world.

This matchup rounds out the Bracket B portion of the tournament that already includes bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari vs Akhmed Musakaev and Erson Yamamoto vs Manel Kape.

Last but not least, RIZIN General Manager Nobuhiko Takada confirmed that the promotion will test run some kickboxing bouts in Fukuoka. Issei Ishii will collide with Jin Mandokoro, YUKI will face Kurogi Darvish and Ryota Renseigym will take on Yoshihisa Morimoto under RIZIN kickboxing rules. If these are successful, this could mean more kickboxing at future RIZIN events.

With the Women’s Super Atomweight Grand Prix, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shintaro Ishiwatari and Dan Henderson versus Kazushi Sakuraba in a grappling match already announced, this event is locked and loaded to give fans a show to remember.

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John Hyon Ko is an Asia-based combat sports journalist as well as the host and producer of Kumite Radio.