When RIZIN 21 started announcing matches for their first show of 2020, five kickboxing matches were announced. Some names might be recognizable to hardcore J-Kick fans but for most tuning in, this will be the first time seeing these fighters. These kickboxers have mostly gotten the opportunity to showcase their skills on the regional scene. RIZIN 21 will be the biggest stage they have ever competed on. One of those kickboxers who is ready to step on the big stage is Bolivian Henrry Cejas (17-7-2, 4 KO).
You read correctly. Cejas, 30, is not a Japanese born kickboxer. Originally from the northern Bolivian town of Riberalta, he moved to Kani, a prefecture in Gifu, Japan at 10 years old. Speaking to MMASucka, he said at first he “hated [Japan]” but over time “adapted to the language, culture, and the Japanese food.”
“Today it is a country that I love and I am very grateful for the opportunities that it has given me.”
He was a bit of a late bloomer to kickboxing as he started when he was 22. He became a student at the Brazilian Thai team under the coaching of RISE welterweight kickboxing champion, Danilo Zanolini, who has also fought in RIZIN. Cejas saw his coach achieving success in the sport and “wanted to do the same.”
“I also wanted to be a champion,” Cejas said. Last month he got to achieve that goal. He won the Heat 60kg title on January 19 after knocking out champion Shoki in the 2nd round.
The next goal, he said is to become a “RIZIN champion.”
“I will win this fight… I will give a great fight and I will keep winning until I become the RIZIN champion.”
When Cejas fights, he never seems to get tired. He is always moving forward, agonizing opponents with his pressure and strikes. The volume of strikes he puts on his opponents may not always knock them out, but can easily drain them of their confidence and will as the fight goes the distance.
“When a fight begins for me, it is to win at all times from beginning to end. I always fight with my heart in my hand,” Cejas said.
Seido (13-20-2, 4 KO) is a regular of popular kickboxing promotion RISE. Nicknamed the “Donkey Kong of Saitama,” he is a former RISE super featherweight champion. Seido has the height and experience advantage over Cejas. Seido also won his most recent fight in RISE last month by majority decision.
Cejas said he was not familiar with his opponent when the bout was agreed. Still, He is not taking his opponent lightly. “I fight for my dream, my future, my family, and my people. I will give my all in the ring and nothing will stop me. Seido is a stepping stone for me.” After Seido, he says he eyes becoming a champion in RIZIN. “I will give a great fight. I will keep winning until I become the RIZIN champion…I’ll give 120% of me in my fight.”
RIZIN 21 will be at the Hamamatsu Arena and be available internationally on FITE February 22 at midnight est. You can order the show here.