RIZIN’s next tournament is set and the first round of match-ups include some surprises.
The promotion announced via a press conference on Thursday (Japan time, July 7, 2022) an additional batch of bouts for the upcoming RIZIN 37 event on July 31, 2022, in Saitama, Japan. The Super Atomweight division will be getting highlighted with a grand prix for the first time since 2017 as eight great competitors will participate. Unlike in past grand prixs, fighters will not fight twice in one night to win, as the semifinals will take place in September, followed by the finals on the annual New Year’s Eve event.
Most notably among the new promotional faces is longtime veteran and Strawweight pioneer, Jessica Aguilar, who faces former two-time RIZIN champion and all-time great, Ayaka Hamasaki. Current champion, Seika Izawa, will also be a part of the action as she welcomes newcomer, Laura Fontoura to the ring. Fontoura isn’t the last debutant, however, as Anastasia Svetskivska meets superstar striking sensation, Rena Kubota. Then things get rounded out by the 2017 grand prix winner, Kanna Asakura, facing South Korea’s Si Woo Park.
For Aguilar, this will be just her second appearance since departing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2019. The 40-year-old former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) queenpin last fought to a split decision defeat against Danielle Taylor at XFC 43 in Nov. 2020.
At a time, Aguilar versus Hamasaki could have been viewed as a dream match-up. Now, Hamasaki, also 40, looks to rebound off the first losing streak of her career after back-to-back outings opposite Izawa.
The current RIZIN 37 fight line-up can be seen below.
- 108lbs.: Ayaka Hamasaki vs Jessica Aguilar
- 108lbs.: Kanna Asakura vs Si Woo Park
- 108lbs.: Seika Izawa vs. Laura Fontoura
- 108lbs.: Rena Kubota vs. Anastasia Svetkivska
- 125lbs.: Hideo Tokoro vs. Makoto Takahashi
- 145lbs.: Vugar Karamov vs. Sora Yamamoto
- 135lbs.: Naoki Inoue vs. Kenta Takizawa
- 135lbs.: Shinobu Ota vs. Yuki Motoya
- 145lbs.: Ulka Sasaki vs. Yuki Nakahara
- 265lbs.: Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Hideki Sekine
- 145lbs.: Kota Miura vs. Felipe Masoni
- 136lbs.: Yushi vs. Haruki
- 176lbs.: Marcos Souza vs. Daichi Abe
Who wins it all?
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