Tenshin Nasukawa’s RIZIN 16 Opponent Stripped of Title, Martin Blanco Steps In

Tenshin Nasukawa
Tenshin Nasukawa def. Fritz Aldin Blagtan Credit: RIZIN FF

Tenshin Nasukawa has had a late change of opponents for June’s RIZIN 16 in Kobe.

The upcoming RIZIN 16 card is, once again, featuring MMA and kickboxing standout Tenshin Nasukawa in action. However, a planned title bout for the ISKA Featherweight championship has fallen through after ISKA champ Ahmed Ferradji withdrew from the June 2 event. As a result of his withdrawal, Ferradji has been stripped of the title. Stepping up in his place will be Martin Blanco of Argentina. The vacant featherweight title will remain on the line.

Blanco is the current ISKA bantamweight champion, and will be looking to claim titles in two weight classes with a win over Japan’s Tenshin. However, it will be no easy task. Nasukawa remains undefeated in both MMA and kickboxing, with his only loss to date coming in an exhibition boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on New Year’s Eve. As a result of that being an exhibition, it does not reflect on his official record in the sport.

No reason was given for Ferradji dropping off the event. ISKA Europe President Paul Hennessy, however, stated in a RIZIN press release Monday that “I apologize to RIZIN and Tenshin Nasukawa for the sudden cancellation of Tenshin’s match with Ahmed Ferradji.”

As for Blanco, he was quoted as saying that “I am very happy and thankful for fighting in Japan. The fight with Tenshi will be a fight to see who lands the bigger shots. We have a fight plan set for movements and exchanges. We hope for a KO, but will do what it takes to hand the kid his first loss.”

RIZIN 16 takes place June 2 at the Kobe World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan.