RIZIN 19 Announced, Including Lightweight Grand Prix Participants, Debut of Fabio Maldonado

Fabio Maldonado
Fabio Maldonado Credit: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

Brazilian pugilist and former UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado will debut at RIZIN 19; Patricky Pitbull official for lightweight grand prix.

RIZIN Fighting Federation has officially announced its next show, RIZIN 19. On Wednesday, the Japanese MMA promotion and heir apparent to PRIDE distributed a press release unveiling the key players on the card, which will take place October 12 at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan. Among them, Bellator mainstay Patricky Pitbull, who will take part in the lightweight grand prix. And the debut of light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado, who had returned to the boxing world of late.

In addition to Pitbull (21-8), the RIZIN lightweight grand prix will consist of Johnny Case (26-6-1), Luiz Gustavo (9-1), Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-13-2), Tofiq Musaev (15-3), Roberto de Souza (9-0), Damien Brown (19-12) and Hiroto Uesako (16-7). Opening round match-ups have yet to be determined, and will be announced at a later date.

Maldonado (25-13), meanwhile, will be making his debut for the Japanese promotion against light heavyweight champ Jiri Prochazka (24-3-1). Prochazka won the title against King Mo back in April at RIZIN 15.

Also on the card, former UFC fighter Keita Nakamura (34-10-2) will make his RIZIN debut opposite BJJ ace Marcos Sauza (8-1). Rena Kubota returns as well, taking on Canada’s Shawna Ram (1-0), who will be in just her second pro fight.

Korea’s Seo Hee Ham, another UFC alum, will also be appearing, opposite Miyuu Yamamoto.