RIZIN FF, the combat sports promotion led by former PRIDE FC head Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced during a press conference on Wednesday, the return of all-time fan favorite Kazuyuki “Ol’ Ironhead” Fujita (15-10), who will take on recent RIZIN FF Grand Prix tournament runner-up and dangerous knockout artist Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka (16-3-1), in a heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contest at the 10,000 capacity Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on Sunday, April 17.
Also announced today for the “Top Presents RIZIN Fighting Federation I” extravaganza next month, was a flyweight (125 pounds) matchup between submission ace Allan “Puro Osso” Nascimento (14-3) and red-hot champion Yuki Motoya (15-4, 1 NC).
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Jiri Prochazka
During his memorable 16-year career in the fight game, the 6-foot, 45-year-old Fujita of Funabashi, Chiba, Japan has collected two major, professional wrestling championships and faced off with nearly every rival force of his era in MMA’s heavyweight division, including former pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Wanderlei Silva and Mark Coleman, while competing under the elite promotional banners of PRIDE FC, K-1 and Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye.
Fujita’s notable victories include a first round (6:46) TKO (corner stoppage) of “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock, a first round (8:25) KO (punch) of James Thompson and unanimous decisions over Gilbert Yvel and two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tournament winner and NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion Mark Kerr.
The 6-foot-4, 23-year-old Prochazka of Hosteradice, Czech Republic is coming off a breakthrough performance in which he scored a first round (1:36) TKO (head kick and knee strikes) of Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii in the quarterfinal stage of the RIZIN FF eight-man Grand Prix elimination tournament on December 29, 2015.
Two days later, Prochazka returned to the ring and earned a first round (10:00) TKO (retirement) win over Vadim Nemkov before suffering a first round (5:09) KO (punch) at the hands of superstar “King Mo” Lawal in the championship stage round. Of Prochazka’s 16 career wins, 13 have come by way of (T)KO and 2 by way of submission.
Allan Nascimento vs.Yuki Motoya
Touted as a miniature version of all-time great Anderson Silva, the 24-year-old Nascimento of Sao Paulo, Brazil boasts an astounding 86 percent submission rate, having forced 12 of the 14 opponents he has conquered, to tap out.
At 5-foot-9, Nascimento towers over the majority of his competition in the 125-pound division, and is known for effectively using his reach advantage and high-level Muay Thai skills to frustrate and inflict damage on opponents from a distance, and set up slick submissions.
The 5-foot-7, 26-year-old Motoya of Nagoya is the reigning DEEP flyweight champion and the number one ranked 125-pound fighter in Japan. Motoya is riding a seven-fight win streak, with four of the victories coming by way of TKO or submission.
In his last start on December 29, Motoya faced off with Felipe Efrain at the inaugural RIZIN FF event, outworking Efrain early in the bout before suddenly being floored by a left hand that Efrain followed up on with a series of strikes, prompting the referee to stop the contest. Because Efrain had not made weight for the fight, however, the result was overturned from TKO to no contest.
In the main event, former PRIDE FC middleweight champion and all-time great Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) will team up with a fighter to be announced soon, in a special grappling “tag match,” and battle a duo consisting of fellow legend, Kazushi Sakuraba, (26-17-1, 2 NC) and Hideo Tokoro (33-28-2).
In a 180 pound MMA rules contest, devastating power puncher Hisaki Kato (5-2) will take on fellow prolific finisher Yuta “Andre” Watanabe (19-6-4).
Additional bouts for “Top Presents RIZIN Fighting Federation I” will be announced soon.