RIZIN 26, the Japanese promotion’s final card of 2020, has some late additions. And they include some big names in “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi and Tenshin Nasukawa.
In a press release Monday following a press conference in Japan, promotion officials confirmed the involvement of both Gomi and Tenshin on the New Year’s Eve card. In addition, RIZIN also announced the availability of an English language live stream, featuring commentary by Frank Trigg and Joe Ferraro.
In the first of the two fight announcements, Tenshin Nasukawa (39-0 kickboxing) will return to the ring against an opponent to be announced. While Kumandoi Phetjaroenvit was briefly listed as the opponent on RIZIN social media, that post has since been removed.
Takanori Gomi, meanwhile, will take part in an exhibition bout against kickboxer Kouzi (Koji Tanaka) in what is being billed as a “RIZIN Special Standing Bout.” Per RIZIN’s press release, “Both fighters will only be allowed to punch with the exception of back fist blows. Both fighters will be bare footed and the bout will consist of three, 3 minute rounds with no decisions.”
Now 42-years old, Gomi (36-15, 1 NC) became a legend in PRIDE in the early part of his career. Upon arrival in the UFC, however, Gomi struggled, compiling a 4-9 record from 2010 to 2017. After a six-fight losing skid at the tail end of his career, Gomi got back in the win column in July 2018 by defeating Melvin Guillard at RIZIN 11.
Gomi has not fought since.
RIZIN 26 takes place December 31, 2020 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The card is headlined by a rematch between Kyoji Horiguchi and Kai Asakura. The English-language stream will be available exclusively via Live-Now.