Saiga Out of Kickboxing Bout at RIZIN 16; Replaced by Ryuji Horio

Ryuji Horio
Another last minute fight change at RIZIN 16 as Kunitaka now takes on Ryuji Horio. (Photo courtesy of RIZIN FF)

.One more fight at RIZIN 16 has been changed four days before the show goes on in Kobe. this time due to medical reasons. A 59 kg/130 pound kickboxing match between Kunitaka and Kizaemon Saiga will now be Kunitaka vs. Ryuji Horio (19-11-3). Saiga was not cleared to fight by the ophthalmologist, an eye doctor, during his pre-fight medical exams. This stems from a previous orbital fracture that he suffered. A press release from RIZIN stated the doctor’s “diagnosis was that Saiga may be suffering visual field contraction.” In other words, his peripheral version was greatly affected.

Who is Ryuji Horio?

Horio, 27, is a kickboxer who has fought for Krush and K-1. He trains at TRY HARD GYM, where kickboxing brothers Hiroya and Taiga also train. Horio has knocked out six of his opponents. He is not getting a long vacation, as he most recently fought at Deep 89 Impact on May 12 where he went to a split draw with Shoot Boxing’s Ryouta Naito. When the fight was announced, he wrote on Twitter that “[he’ll] do his best” and is looking to get a “memorable win.”

Ryuji Horio replaces Kizaemon Saiga at RIZIN 16 and is looking to get a win on four days notice.

Other Changed Fight

This is the second kickboxing match that needed a quick replacement. The main event was supposed be a 57 kg/125 pound match between kickboxing phenom Tenshin Nasukawa and ISKA featherweight champion Ahmed Ferradji with the ISKA title on the line. Ferradji voluntarily withdrew from the fight for unknown reasons. He was stripped of the title and replaced by Argentinian kickboxer and ISKA Bantamweight Champion Martin Blanco. The vacant featherweight title is on the line now.

RIZIN 16 airs live on June 2nd 12:20AM ET/Jun 1, 9:20PM PT. The show will take place at Kobe Memorial World Hall and be available for international viewers through FITE.tv.

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