RIZIN FF has announced additional fights for the RIZIN 17 event coming up on July 28 at the Saitama Super Arena as well as fights for the RIZIN 18 show in August. The biggest fight announcement is the signing of former undefeated UFC fighter Ivan Shtyrkov (16-0-1). He will be taking on South Korea’s Kim Hoon (10-12-2, 1 NC) in a light heavyweight match.
You might be thinking “I don’t remember this guy fighting in UFC…” And that is right. Shtyrkov, 31, was supposed to be on UFC Fight Night 149 taking on Devin Clark but never made it on the card. He later requested his release from UFC after a potential doping violation was found by USADA testing.
A member of Shtyrkov’s management team, Ruby Sports and Entertainment CEO Daniel Rubenstein, said that the fighter will follow all drug testing policies of RIZIN.
“Ivan is excited for his opportunity with RIZIN and understands that he will be subjected to their drug testing policies and plans to abide by them. He is looking forward to competing in Tokyo in July,” Rubenstein said.
King Reina Returns at RIZIN 17
The other big fight announced is the return of the charismatic King Reina (11-2). She will be taking on Switzerland’s Stephanie Egger (3-1). Reina has had a spat of bad luck in RIZIN lately. She has two losses to Cindy Dandois and Kaitlin Young. She is however on a two fight win streak picking up both wins in DEEP Jewels matches. Egger hasn’t fought in MMA in over a year. She qualified to compete at the California ADCC Worlds tournament in September in the +60kg/132 pound division.
Another additional match recently announced is a kickboxing match between Taiga vs. Hikaru Machida (no relation to Lyoto).
The announced card for RIZIN 17:
Yusuke Yachi vs. Mikuru Asakura (70kg)
Yuki Motoya vs. Hiromasa Ogikubo (61kg)
Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Ulka Sasaki (61kg)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov (71kg)
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Johnny Case (71kg)
Roberto de Souza vs. Mizuto Hirota (71kg)
Seo Hee Ham vs. Tomo Maesawa (49kg)
Jake Heun vs. Vitaly Shemetov (93kg)
Ivan Shtyrkov vs. Hoon Kim (93kg)
King Reina vs. Stephanie Egger (63kg)
Kevin Ross vs. Daiki Watabe (Kickboxing) (67kg)
Taiga vs. Hikaru Machida (Kickboxing) (62kg)
On RIZIN FF English Twitter page, three additional kickboxing fights for RIZIN 18. Announced so far are Shota Takiya vs. Kazuki Osaki, Ryuji Horio vs. Uchu Sakurai, and John Wayne Parr vs. Danilo Zanolini.
Statements from the RIZIN 17 fighters:
Ivan Shtyrkov: “The agreement with RIZIN is a new story in my career. I am grateful to the league for the opportunity to return to the game and introduce myself to Japanese fans.”
Kim Hoon: “It has been my dream to fight for PRIDE and at the Saitama Super Arena. This opportunity has granted both of my dreams. My opponent is a very powerful fighter but he always fights the same fight. He has fought at heavyweight and has wins over notable names as well. I will work on my speed and footwork and outwork my powerful opponent. I hope to show a great performance in front of the Japanese audience.”
King Reina: “I will be fighting at 63kg this time as a new challenge. My opponent is tall and has fought in Invicta before, but I do think she has many holes in her standup. I will go and expose that and get the win.”
Stephanie Egger: “I am very motivated to be able to take part on such a prestigious stage. I would like to put on a great performance in front of the Japanese fans. My opponent is very tough and has a great ground game, but I will expose her weaknesses.”
Taiga: “I am happy to get another offer. I have not been able to leave good results after coming to RIZIN, so a great KO is long due. Everybody please look forward to my next fight!”
Hikaru Machida: “I have fought 55 professional fights as a kickboxer. I have been able to continue this long because of the people who support me. My go to move is the “Iai” punch. I will throw my punch as I was swinging a samurai sword. This punch not only wins me the fight, but also wins the crowd as well. I hope you all look forward in me using this move. I have been given the opportunity to fight for RIZIN and I think this is a great chance for me. My dream is to become a person who can inspire other people. I would like to use this platform to make [my] name known across the world. I will utilize my “Iai” punches and grasp the win.”