RENA re-booked vs. Samantha Jean-Francois at RIZIN 15
Following the most recent batch of announcements, it has been confirmed that Shoot Boxing star Rena Kubota will be joining the RIZIN 15 fight-card. Her opponent; Samantha Jean-Francois of Marseille, France.
The two were set to face-off at RIZIN 14 on December 31 of last year, but a last-minute weight-cutting mishap forced RENA to pull from the contest. Since then, Jean-Francois has been respectfully calling for the fight to be re-booked, and she will get her wish on April 21.
It is worth noting that their first fight booking was slated to be at 49kg, but due to the previous weight-cutting issue, the two will now fight at 51kg.
RENA vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
Shoot Boxing megastar Rena Kubota (7-2) returns after taking the better part of a year off following her RIZIN 11 loss to Kanna Asakura. The former Shoot Boxing Flyweight Champion and S-Cup winner is often considered the face of female Shoot Boxing. Under striking rules, she holds wins over Mei Yamaguchi, Hisae Watanabe, and Seo Hee Ham.
Since making her highly-anticipated MMA debut in 2015, the already established striker has really made a name for herself in an entirely new sport. After beginning her mixed martial arts run with six-straight finishes, RENA was defeated by the young dark-horse Kanna Asakura in the 2017 Super Atomweight Grand-Prix Finals. This despite being a lock to win the whole thing from he perspective of most viewers. She defeated Elaine Leal seven months after the Kanna loss to earn a rematch with Kanna Asakura at RIZIN 11. This marked Kubota’s second career loss as a mixed martial artist.
As RENA looks to get back on track, so does her opponent; Samantha Jean-Francois (3-5, 1NC) of Marseille, France. As evident by her record, “Spicy” doesn’t have a notable career to discuss at this time. But she hopes to change that with a big win over Rena Kubota on NYE.
Samantha Jean-Francois is a former Weili Zhang victim. The combined record of the three fighters she was able to defeat in pro competition is 1-8-1.
RIZIN 15 is slated to go down on April 21, live from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.
The night will see Jiri Prochazka and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal fight for the first-ever RIZIN Light Heavyweight Championship. We will also see the return of RIZINbantamweight title-holder Kyoji Horiguchi as he faces Ben Nguyen in a non-title contest.
Rounding out the card will be the debuts of Koji Takeda and Roberto de Souza, as well as the returns of Mikuru Asakura, Luiz Gustavo, Damien Brown, and Manel Kape.