Satoru Kitaoka faces the undefeated Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza at RIZIN 15


Satoru Kitaoka faces the undefeated Roberto de Souza at RIZIN 15

The RIZIN 15 announcements kept on rolling tonight as two new bouts join the line-up for the April 21 show in Yokohama.

Following the initial batch of announcements last week, MMASucka was able to confirm that Koji Takeda will face Damien Brown in his promotional debut. This fight has since been made official by RIZIN Fighting Federation.

Now, two new additions to the card.

Japanese legend Satoru Kitaoka will look to win two-straight when he faces undefeated BJJ stud Roberto de Souza on the show. Also, Manel Kape will look to rebound against a returning Seiichiro Ito.

Satoru Kitaoka vs. Roberto de Souza

Despite recently losing his DEEP Lightweight Championship to the aforementioned Takeda, Satoru Kitaoka (42-18-9) is coming off a win on NYE. In a fight that flew under-the-radar, Kitaoka headlined RIZIN’s Yarennoka! show in Saitama against fellow lightweight legend Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Both men fought hard, but it was Kitaoka who walked away with a narrow split decision win. Prior to this outing, the unorthodox submission specialist lost two-straight. After being knocked out viciously by Diego Brandao at RIZIN 11, Kitaoka lost his DEEP championship to Koji Takeda in October via decision.

Kitaoka’s twenty submission victories come against names like Daron Cruickshank, Takanori Gomi, Paul Daley, Carlos Condit, and Kurt Pellegrino.

Though he may not have a ton of name-value, one could argue that a submission win over Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza (7-0) would be much bigger than all of those. The undefeated Brazilian was once strongly considered to be one of the best prospects in the BJJ world, and eventually one of the best lightweight grapplers in the world.

Now 29-years-old, de Souza has shifted most of his focus to mixed martial arts. All seven of his professional bouts have taken place in Asia, and his record consists of six submissions and one knockout win. “Satoshi” most recently competed back in November, needing just 66-seconds to choke out the unbeaten Dae Seung Baek.

It is worth noting that de Souza, of course, still competes semi-regularly in the grappling field and remains highly respected in the community. He is one of the most successful, yet under-appreciated BJJ-to-MMA crossover athletes, and he has now signed with RIZIN Fighting Federation to showcase that.

Manel Kape vs. Seiichiro Ito

With a record of 1-3 in his last four bouts, Angola’s Manel Kape (12-4) will desperately be trying to get back in the win column at RIZIN 15. Beginning his RIZIN career with two-straight first-round knockouts over Erson Yamamoto and Ian McCall, there was a tremendous amount of hype behind Kape.

“Prodigio” earned himself a bantamweight grand-prix quarter-final match-up against Kyoji Horiguchi. Despite putting up a valiant effort, he was submitted late. This was followed up by a hotly-contested split decision loss to Kai Asakura at RIZIN 10 before he returned in prime form to choke Yusaku Nakamura unconscious at RIZIN 13. On NYE, however, Kape was thoroughly outworked and outclassed by UFC-veteran Ulka Sasaki in his RIZIN debut.

Seiichiro Ito (12-2-2) returns to RIZIN almost exactly two years after winning his debut against Kizaemon Saiga in 2017, funnily enough in the exact same venue as RIZIN 15. The Japanese vet then took nearly a year and a half off, spending that time competing in grappling bouts. During this time he defeated Hideo Tokoro via points under the GRANDSLAM banner.

Ito is a veteran of the ZST promotion, where he once reigned as a dominant flyweight champion. In October of last year, he returned to the organization for the first time in two years, losing in the co-main event of ZST 62 to Tatsuki Saomoto. Prior to this, he was unbeaten in his previous twelve outings.

RIZIN 15 goes down on April 21, live from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.

As announced late last week, the card will feature Kyoji HoriguchiBen NguyenKing MoJiri Prochazka, and more! Here is the updated fight card.

Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ben Nguyen
Jiri Prochazka vs. King Mo II – Title
Koji Takeda vs. Damien Brown
Mikuru Asakura vs. Luiz Gustavo
Kai Asakura vs. Ulka Sasaki
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Roberto de Souza
Manel Kape vs. Seiichiro Ito

*bout order TBA, incomplete


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