Asian MMA

Kron Gracie vs. 19-year-old Asen Yamamoto set for Rizin Fighting Federation on NYE

Image for Kron Gracie vs. 19-year-old Asen Yamamoto set for Rizin Fighting Federation on NYE

Rizin Fighting Federation has announced a bout between two legendary mixed martial arts families as Kron Gracie will welcome newcomer, 19-year-old Asen Yamamoto in the Rizin ring.

This morning Rizin Fighting Federation held a press conference that featured MMA newcomer and wrestling phenom Asen Yamamoto joined by his grandfather and former Olympic wrestler Ikuei Yamamoto as well as the legendary Rickson Gracie on behalf of his son Kron Gracie.

Rizin General Manager Nobuhiko Takada had this to say about the match-up:

“We have booked such a great fight. Korn Gracie vs Asen Yamamoto. This
is a very dramatic and simple matchup for the viewers.” said Takada
and continued, “this fight has already created a different buzz and
atmosphere that the matchups we have so far. Just imagining the
outcome sends chills down my spine. of course they are fighting as
individuals, but also for their family. I want them to fight a fight
where people will talk about years from now, for them, for their
family and for their country. We, the Rizin team would also like to
move forward in creating the future of MMA with these two. “

Asen and Ikuei Yamamoto had this to say about the fight:

“Spectators may just think that this is a fight between two families,
but for me, I don’t want to lose as a Japanese fighter, and as a
fighter Asen, so my plan is to beat him up and get my hand raised.”
(Asen Yamamoto)

“Asen’s good part is that he never backs down. Ever since he started
wrestling at the age of 3 and until he became world champion, he has
never backed down. He traveled to Hungary and learned European style
wrestling, and the spirit as a fighter. He also grew up in an
environment surrounded by the Yamato Damashi spirit. The Gracie family
is also an amazing family so I believe the fight is going to be an
extremely exciting fight. I will observe this fight with my own eyes.”
(Ikuei Yamamoto)

Kron (via video message) and Rickson Gracie also had some comments regarding the match-up:

“I would like to thank Mr. Sakakibara for giving me, Kron and the
Gracie family to participate with Rizin. And I am very happy that
Akron was given an opportunity to fight Asen. Kron is training hard
and is in great shape so he will bring 100% to the ring. This fight
will be a fight that will determine the future of MMA. The modern MMA
rules take away the Bushido Spirit from the fighters by their short
rounds and point system. And the cage becomes the 3rd element and
takes away from realistic fighting situation. But Rizin will bring
back the longer rounds and the ring with ropes. This will emphasize
the fighters to finish which will bring back the true warrior spirit
to the fighters and I am very happy for that.” (Rickson Gracie)

Kron Gracie could not make it to Tokyo since he was in training camp
but left a video message,“Asen is a tough wrestler, he’s a young up
and coming kid. Kind of like me. But the opponent really doesn’t
matter, because my opponent is always the same, which is my mind.”
after watchng the video, Asen commented “Kron is the world’s top
grappler and I respect him for that. But once we get in the ring there
is no friendship, or anything. If he is coming to fight me with his
head, I will fight with my heart. I will give him everything I have to
crush him.”

This bout will take place on December 29 in Saitama, Japan to open the three-day Rizin GP.

As well as the Yamamoto/Gracie match-up, Rizin also showcased their official logo for the first time.


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