The first fights have been set for Super RIZIN 2, the RIZIN Fighting Federation portion of July’s Bellator X RIZIN 2 card.
Facing off in the traditional RIZIN ring on July 30 will be former Bellator MMA bantamweight champ Juan Archuleta (28-4) and ex-RIZIN bantamweight champ Kai Asakura (20-4). The high-profile bout will be Archuleta’s second for RIZIN; he appeared at RIZIN 42 earlier this month, winning a decision against Naoki Inoue.
That victory extended Archuleta’s current win streak to three straight.
Asakura is 4-1 in his last five, and will be coming off a win over Yuki Motoya when he goes up against “The Spaniard.” Asakura fought his way to the final of RIZIN’s 2021 bantamweight grand prix, falling to Hiromasa Ougikubo in the finale.
The bout was announced by RIZIN officials on social media Saturday morning.
Also announced for the Super RIZIN 2 position of Bellator X RIZIN 2 is Mikuru Asakura (17-3, 1NC), the older brother of ex-champ Kai. He’s set for a featherweight match-up with Vugar Karamov (18-4) of Azerbaijan.
Both fighters have won three straight, though in Mikuru Asakura’s case, a 2022 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhibition boxing bout is sandwiched between wins in MMA.
Bellator X RIZIN 2 (and Super RIZIN 2) takes place on July 30, 2023 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Thus far, the card consists of the following announced bouts:
- A.J. McKee vs. Patricky Pitbull — Bellator MMA Lightweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto “Shinryu” Takahashi — for the inaugural Bellator MMA flyweight championship
- Kana Watanabe vs. Veta Arteaga
- Juan Archuleta vs. Kai Asakura
- Mikuru Asakura vs. Vugar Karamov