Tenshin Nasukawa is true to his word and the day after the announcement of his long-awaited fight against Takeru being set for June he, and RIZIN CEO, Nobuyuki Sakakibara held another press conference to announce his opponent for promotion’s New Year’s Eve event. And so, one of Kickboxing’s biggest stars will clash off against Pride and UFC veteran, Takanori Gomi.
The match was announced six days before the event with massive differences in age and weight between the two participants. Gomi accepted this short-notice bout under the condition, that he would be booked at a massive June event headlined by Tenshin vs. Takeru.
Nasukawa, who is 23-years old, weighs around 127 lbs, and former Pride FC champion Gomi is twenty years elder and weighed 172 lbs for last year’s RIZIN NYE event. The bout will be contested under ‘special standing rules’ which actually means a two-round exhibition boxing match.
For Nasukawa it will be the last fight inside the RIZIN ring. During his stay with the promotion, he fought mainly in kickboxing bouts, scoring eight victories with no losses. He also took part in ‘special rules matches’ and won them all. At RIZIN 28 he took part in a special match, where each round he fought a different opponent, and all three of them ended in a time limit draw. Nasukawa also tested himself in MMA and won all of his four fights. His only blemish came at RIZIN 14 when he lost to Floyd Mayweather jr. in a boxing exhibition match.
Gomi fought three times in RIZIN, two times in MMA, and one time in the ‘special-rules’ bout. He lost his promotional debut to Yusuke Yachi and bounced back by defeating Melvin Guillard. A year ago at RIZIN 26 he defeated Koji Tanaka in the aforementioned ‘special-rules’ match. What’s interesting, this wouldn’t be the first time when Gomi is scheduled to participate in a boxing match. Back in PRIDE FC days, there were plans to set up a match between him and then-current WBC Super Flyweight boxing champion, Masamori Tkouyama. However, when the news broke about this idea the boxing commission approached Tokuyama and informed him that in order to accept this fight he would have to relinquish his title and retire from boxing, and so it never came to fruition.
Photo from Rizin Twitter