Tenshin Nasukawa and TAIGA get kickboxing fights at RIZIN 15
Two fan-favourite Japanese fighters will compete in separate kickboxing bouts at RIZIN 15 to finalize 13-fight card.
Following an unreal knockout in the -58kg RISE World Series 2019 quarter-finals, the phenomenal Tenshin Nasukawa will take a bout in RIZIN before his semi-final RISE bout later this Summer. On April 21, Tenshin will face a Filipino WBC Muay Thai National Champion in the form of Fritz Biagtan.
After dropping a tight split decision to Seksan Orkwanmuang in the -61kg RISE World Series 2019 quarter-finals, TAIGA returns to RIZIN where he will take Thalisson Gomes Ferreira. Much like his RIZIN 15 foe, Ferreira is coming off a loss in the RISE World Series. He was knocked out by Suakim in the third-round of their -58kg quarter-final bout.
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Fritz Biagtan
In his most recent outing, Tenshin Nasukawa (29-0) continued to amaze as he knocked out Federico Roma in the third round of their bout last month with a ridiculous handplant headkick. This, of course, was a successful rebound after losing to Floyd Mayweather in their exhibition boxing match at RIZIN 14.
Prior to this ridiculous Mayweather bout, Nasukawa had been lighting the combat sports world on fire. Defeating fellow Japanese superstar Kyoji Horiguchi in a kickboxing mega-fight at RIZIN 13 after winning the RIZIN KICK Tournament a year prior with two knockout wins in one night. The 20-year-old RIZIN, RISE, and KNOCK OUT superstar is also 4-0 in MMA competition, picking up four mixed martial arts starchings under the RIZIN banner. He is the former RISE Bantamweight Champion and current RISE Featherweight Champion.
Consistently competing both kickboxing/muay thai and MMA, 23-year-old Filipino Fritz Biagtan gets the biggest opportunity of his young career at RIZIN 15. A former URCC MMA title-holder, Biagtan claimed WBC Muay Thai national gold last month in the Ultimate Muay Thai Challenge main event from Pasig City.
It was an excellent showing from “Kid Tornado” as he picked up a fourth-round TKO win over Brent Velasco. On his way to victory, Biagtan impressed by showing off his fantastic cardio and opening up a big cut on the face of Velasco. It was this cut that eventually called a stop to their contest, after multiple check-ups from the medical staff.
TAIGA vs. Thalisson Gomes Ferriera
A former K-1 World Champion and K-1 Japan Tournament Champion, the 22-year-old Taiga Kawabe returns to RIZIN hoping to rebound from a close decision loss to Seksan during the RISE World Series last month.
Prior to this defeat, TAIGA made his RIZIN debut against Road To RIZIN KICK Tournament winner Kento Haraguchi. The two fought to a draw. In between this draw to Haraguchi and his RISE WS defeat, TAIGA lost a bout at Emei Legend 36 in China. The Japanese fan-favourite is winless since 2017.
Opposite him will be a Brazilian slugger in the form of Thalisson Gomes Ferreira. A relative unknown, Ferreira competed against the high-level muay thai striker Suakim as part of the RISE World Series last month. Despite being a heavy underdog, Ferreira gave his opponent absolute hell.
Scoring multiple knockdowns and constantly attacking with powerful shots, the Brazilian gassed down the stretch and was finished by Suakim in the third-round courtesy of a vicious bodyshot. Despite the loss, it was one of the best bouts of 2019 thus far. Kickboxing or otherwise.
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.
Here is the entire RIZIN 15 fight card. Bout order to-be-determined.
Jiri Prochazka vs. Muhammad Lawal II – RIZIN Light Heavyweight Title
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ben Nguyen
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Fritz Biagtan – Kickboxing
Mikuru Asakura vs. Luiz Gustavo
RENA vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
Koji Takeda vs. Damien Brown
TAIGA vs. Thalisson Gomes Ferreira – Kickboxing
Kai Asakura vs. Justin Scoggins
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Roberto de Souza
Kana Watanabe vs. Justyna Haba
Manel Kape vs. Seiichiro Ito
Karl Albrektsson vs. Christiano Frohlich
Shinju Nozawa-Auclair vs. Saray Orozco