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RIZIN had a smaller event last week as part of their Landmark series, but they’ve brought out the big guns for this one. Some of their bigger talents and some excellent prospects are scheduled to participate. There’s not a lot of fat on this bone, it’s all meat.
It’s all well-matched action bouts as well, which is a relief in an era where so many events are top-heavy. Oddly enough, there’s not a single fight contracted above 160lbs. That means no lumbering heavyweights colliding like bumper cars.
The return of the former king
Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Kai Asakura (19-4) is back from an almost year and a half hiatus, and he’s up against Yuki Motoya (33-10). Motoya’s had some ups and downs, but he’s always dangerous at any point of the fight. Asakura’s mostly a striker, but he’s changed his game to become more complete. That main event is a dynamite bout.
Some special guests from the US
And then you’ve got the co-main where former Bellator interim champ Juan Archuleta (27-4) meets the absolutely ruthless Naoki Inoue (16-3). Inoue can be hit standing and might struggle with Archuleta’s wrestling, but he’s capable of dishing it out, too.
Lightweight champ Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza (14-2) had his marvelous five-fight win streak snapped at the hands of AJ McKee back on New Year’s Eve. He’ll look to get back in the win column against the always game and very tough Spike Carlyle.
Buakaw in RIZIN, this is not a drill
Muay Thai sensation Buakaw Banchamek will be competing in a kickboxing bout against Rukiya Anpo. If you’re not familiar with Anpo, you’re in for a treat. That dude is good. Very good. And Buakaw’s reputation is well-known around these parts, but it’s always good to have a reminder of how special he is. Because he’s really all that.
It’s also worth mentioning that Kota Miura will be in a custom rules bout against YA-MAN, and there’s not much else to know other than both guys don’t really worry too much about defense. That’s not really a problem here.
John Dodson still working some magic
Former UFC title challenger John Dodson (23-13) still got hands, and he’s been crossing over between MMA and bare knuckle boxing. He made his arrival in RIZIN an impressive one when he knocked out Hideo Tokoro back on New Year’s Eve. He meets Tatsuki Saomoto (18-2), a 26-year-old talent that has a lot of decisions on his record. But don’t get it twisted, he can crack, too. It’s a fight with some high potential. Dodson should still be favored, but we’re gonna see just what this kid’s made of.
A striker vs grappler bout (sort of)
Ulka Sasaki (23-10) has deceptive and strong flypaper grappling. He just needs to grab a hold of you once and you’re probably in trouble. Tall and lanky, he’s not fun to deal with. South Africa’s Boyd Allen (16-5, 1 draw), splits his time between boxing and MMA, with some slick submission wins as well. While it’s not the pure striker vs grappler archetype of the 90s, it still kind of counts seeing where both fighters tend to lean. It’s a fun one, and it might steal the show.
You can watch the weigh-ins here:
RIZIN 42 takes place this Friday night into Saturday morning starting at 1:00am EST for those of us stateside. The event will be available for purchase over at Fite.TV.
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