Japanese MMA

Kleber Koike Erbst vs Ulka Sasaki Set for RIZIN Trigger 2

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Image for Kleber Koike Erbst vs Ulka Sasaki Set for RIZIN Trigger 2

At today’s press conference, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that Bonsai Jiu-Jitsu team member Kleber Koike Erbst will face Ulka Sasaki in the main event of Trigger 2. 

Erbst is riding a four-fight winning streak started after the loss to Mateusz Gamrot at KSW 46 back in 2018. Three of these wins took place inside the RIZIN ring including a victory over Mikuru Asakura in a bout that was considered by fans as a featherweight title eliminator after going 5-1 with KSW prior to that. 

Despite that perception, Erbst will face UFC veteran Sasaki, who has fought mainly in the bantamweight division. He has won two out of five fights in RIZIN, including a loss to Kai Asakura. He has tested the waters in the featherweight division before, only to lose to fellow UFC alumni Yoshinori Horie. Sasaki holds victories over UFC vets Manel Kape, Jenel Lausa, Justin Scoggins, Willie Gates, Roland Delorme, and Teruto Ishihara.

In a bantamweight fight, DEEP and Shooto veteran Kenji Kato will face the latter promotion mainstay Kazuma Kuramoto. Kato has a 2 – 1 record in RIZIN, including his victory at the first Trigger event over Katsuya Fujiwara. Kuramoto made his promotional debut at RIZIN 26 and soccer kicked Taiyo Nakahara to get the victory. After that, he lost to Alan Yoshihiro Yamaniha at RIZIN 29. 

Another announced matchup was a featherweight affair between Suguru Nii and Sora Yamamoto. Both are veterans of the Japanese MMA circuit coming out of losses in their RIZIN debuts. Nii was submitted by Daisuke Nakamura at RIZIN 31 and Yamamoto lost by unanimous decision to Chihiro Suzuki at the first Trigger event. 

Rizin Trigger 2 is set for February 23rd and will take place in the Ecopa Arena in Fukuroi. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the fight card will be based around local fighters.

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