Juan Archuleta Asks For And Gets Kai Asakura Rebooking

Rizin Bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta is set to make his first title defense come New Year’s Eve, where he’ll met by Kai Asakura at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

This isn’t the first time “The Spaniard” has been matched up with Asakura, as the two were originally scheduled to square off for championship gold this past July.

The former Rizin champion would withdraw from the bout due to injury, however, leading Archuleta to face Hiromasa Ougikubo instead. Archuleta, former Bellator champion, would end up bringing the Rizin belt back to US soil.

Archuleta spoke to Cageside Press earlier this week, advocating for his bout with Asakura to be rebooked.

“He pulled out of our fight, he pulled out of his fight in October – I still want that fight. I just need him to show up this time,” he said.

Archuleta spoke it into existence, as the bout was announced in a Rizin press conference last night – just two days after his interview with Cageside Press.

It will be interesting to see whether Archuleta will be able to assert his dominance this Winter as he looks to extend his current win streak to five.

Other bouts on the RIZIN 45 card include:

  • Hiromasa Ougikubo vs John Dodson
  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs Makoto Shinryu
  • Kleber Koike vs Yutaka Saito

RIZIN FF 45 takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Dec. 31.

Watch the entire interview with Juan Archuelta above.