BKFC Partners with RIZIN, Aiming to Bring Bare-Knuckle to South East Asia

David Feldman BKFC
BKFC President and Founder David Feldman (Photo: Ed Diller/BKFC)

Bare-knuckle boxing outfit BKFC is looking to continue its global expansion, and has partnered with Japanese powerhouse RIZIN to bring bare-knuckle events to South East Asia, including of course Japan.

BKFC President David Feldman announced the news on Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour, stating it was an honor to work with an MMA pioneer in RIZIN Fighting Federation founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara.

“Today we get to announce an official partnership with BKFC and RIZIN to produce Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship shows in Japan and all over the South East Asia region, as well as assist RIZIN with whatever they need around the world. We’re starting this off on July 12 with having Shinotsuka fight on our card that we have at Pechanga Casino in California, and then we’re going to have two of our, two big fights on his huge card that [Sakakibara]’s doing, I believe the date is July 29 in Tokyo in front of 40,000 people. That’s going to be our debut in Japan.”

Tatsuki Shinotsuka is a boxer and kickboxer who made his bare-knuckle debut at RIZIN 46, the first-ever bare-knuckle rules fight held under the Japanese promotion’s banner. Shinotsuka knocked out Justyn Martinez in the fight on April 29, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan.

An opponent for the Japanese star on July 12’s BKFC card has not yet been announced. The card’s main event sees Robbie Peralta paired up with Ruben Warr.

Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation previously cross-promoted with Bellator for a handful of MMA events, prior to that promotion’s purchase by the PFL.