July’s RIZIN 11 card is starting to take shape, with the announcement on Tuesday of three bouts including atomweight champ Kanna Asakura in a rematch with Rena Kubota.
On Tuesday, Japan’s RIZIN FF announced two more bouts for it’s upcoming RIZIN 11 card in July. In a press release, the promotion unveiled that a women’s atomweight title fight would feature on the card. That will see Kanna Asakura (12-2) rematch the woman she defeated to win RIZIN’s atomweight grand prix, RENA (6-1). Properly known as Rena Kubota, the Japanese star suffered her first loss at the hands of Asakura, and has not fought since. She asked for an immediate rematch at this month’s RIZIN 10, and it appears she’s getting it.
Asakura defeated Melissa Karagianis at that event, extending her win streak to seven. The twenty year old hasn’t lost since a fight against Alyssa Garcia back in 2016.
In an interesting twist, RENA will first fight Elaine Leal (5-5) on July 6. That fight will take place at a Shoot Boxing event.
Quoted in Tuesday’s release, the champion said that “I know how good of a fighter RENA is, and I know it’s always going to be a tough fight against her. So regardless of her fight results or performance on July 6th, I will be preparing for the best RENA I can imagine, and fight her as the Champion, and an MMA fighter to get that tap.”
Also announced for the RIZIN 11 card in July, light heavyweights Jiri Prochazka (20-3-1) and Bruno Cappelozza (10-4) will throw down. Both men are veterans of the promotion’s 2015 Heavyweight Grand Prix. In addition, Saori Ishioka (15-11) and Miyuu Yamamoto (1-3) will face off.
RIZIN 11 takes place July 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, just outside of Tokyo. Mirko Cro-Cop was expected to feature on the card, however a recent injury is likely to keep him out until at least the fall.