RIZIN 16 is set to take place from World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan on Sunday June 02, 2019 at 01:00am EST. The main event of the evening will feature Japanese sensation, Tenshin Nasukawa, as well as Super Atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki defending her crown against Jinh Yu. The action can be seen on FITE in North America.
MAIN EVENT BATTLE KICKBOXING BATTLE
The 20 year old Japanese kickboxing phenom of nearly 150 pro and amateur bouts, Nasukawa, will battle Martin Blanco in the main event. Nasakawa is 31-0 as a kickboxing pro with 24 of those victories coming by way of knockout. The ISKA featherweight vacant title will be on the line former champion, Ahmed Ferradji, was forced to withdrawal and stripped of his title, thus Blanco became a last minute replacement.
Though Nasukawa enters with the name power and all the limelight, rightfully so, Blanco is not to be slept on. He is currently the ISKA bantamweight champion and will look to become a two-weight class ISKA world champion. Blanco recently stated of the last-minute opportunity: “I am very happy and thankful for fighting in Japan. The fight with Tenshin will be a fight to see who lands the bigger shots. We have a fight plan set for movements and exchanges. We hope for a KO, but will do what it takes to hand the kid his first loss.”
SUPER ATOMWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
The co-main event of the night will actually be the MMA main event as RIZIN super-atomweight champion, Hamasaki, will battle Tapology’s number two atomweight in the world, Jinh Yu Frey. Since her last loss which occurred at Invicta 22 to the hands of Livia Renata Souza in March 2017, Hamasaki has won all three of her bouts since joining RIZIN FF. The two have actually met once before at Invicta 19 in September 2016 which saw Hamasaki win via round two doctor stoppage. Will this mental edge and her recent run aid Hamasaki in holding onto her RIZIN crown?
Frey, who recently defeated her Invicta FC atomweight title, has won her last two bouts via decision against Minna Grusander, first to win the title then to defend the belt. This recent tough outings could serve as a blessing or a curse for Frey. The mental ware of two hard-fought decisions could have Frey on the right path to handle another tough competitor or could have drained her heading into a difficult situation.
OTHER HEADLINES TO LOOK FOR
Tapology’s number one heavyweight, Roque Martinez, will take on former PFL and Alaska FC veteran, Jake Heun, in a bout set for fireworks. Since 2011, Martinez’s only loss is to Mirko Cro Cop at RIZIN 13 via cut. Heun has been on a reel of knockout losses setting up for a potential knockout of the night candidate.
After a rough closing run in the UFC, Daron Cruickshank, has found a new life in RIZIN participating in RIZIN FF 1 and several events since. After riding a three fight finishing streak, Daron was stopped via guillotine choke in his last outing against Damien Brown. Daron’s rebound matchup is anything but that as he takes on Tofik Musaev of Azerbaijan. Musaev is a finisher having won his last 10 bouts in a row.
Make sure to catch RIZIN FF 16 for many more amazing competitors and matchups. The event can be seen on FITE so make sure to order now.