Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Match-Ups Announced for RIZIN 30

Kenta Takizawa and Yuki Motoya Credit: RIZIN FF

RIZIN Fighting Federation has announced the date and location for RIZIN 30.

On Tuesday, the Japanese fight promotion confirmed via a press conference and follow-up press release that the event would take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, just outside Tokyo. The card will take place on September 19, and feature four bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal bouts.

Also featured at RIZIN 30 will be super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki, in a non-title fight opposite Emi Fujino, the current interim strawweight champion in Pancrase.

That fight is a rematch nearly ten years in the making, as Hamasaki, a former Invicta FC champ, defeated Fujino under the DEEP Jewels banner in 2012. The fight went the distance, with Hamasaki earning a unanimous decision.

The bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal match-ups, meanwhile, are as follows:

Kai Asakura vs Alan Hiro Yamaniha
Naoki Inoue vs Kintaro
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs Takafumi Otsuka
Kenta Takizawa vs Yuki Motoya

While opening round match-ups were selected by the fighters choosing their slot in the tournament bracket, the quarterfinal pairings were made by the promotion.

“We matched the fight where we won’t have any rematches and have new, intriguing fights for the quarter finals of the Bantamweight GP,” RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated at the opening of Tuesday’s press conference announcing the event. “We will prepare the event to host 5,000 spectators at the moment and hopefully the government will allow us to open up the arena for additional spectators. The Tokyo Olympics will be held under tough situations and right now the media is not putting the spotlight on the athletes. We will support our fighters and do everything we need to put the spotlight on our fighters and tell their story.”

Also on Tuesday, RIZIN star and longtime King of Pancrase bantamweight champ Shintaro Ishiwatari announced his retirement. The 36-year old finishes his career with a record of 26-9-4, having competed against everyone from Caol Uno to Ulka Sasaki to Kyoji Horiguchi.