RIZIN 26 will be the traditional Japanese MMA new year’s eve event for 2020 and the promotion has managed to stack the card just as well as every other year before. The main event will be the biggest fight possible for the promotion as Kyoji Horiguchi makes his return after a successfully recovering from an ACL injury that forced him to vacate both his Bellator and RIZIN Bantamweight Championship. Shortly before he vacated those titles, Horiguchi fought in a non-title bout against Kai Asakura and was knocked out in a little over a minute.
Since then, Asakura fought for the vacant Bantamweight title against Manel Kape but lost by knockout. As Kape was signed by the UFC, Asakura was gifted another opportunity to fight for the vacant title and won in style against Hiromasa Ougikubo. As such, this fight represents an opportunity for Asakura to legitimize his title-run by reminding the world that he’s the better man than Horiguchi, while also giving Horiguchi the opportunity to avenge his only loss of the last five years, since Demetrious Johnson.
Elsewhere on the card, some legends of Japanese MMA will be making an appearance as Takanori Gomi competes for the first time in over a year against Koji Tanaka in a special rules bout. Hideo Tokoro will also be making a return to MMA against Shinobu Ota, although he has been active in the submission grappling scene by competing in several Quintet events. One of the first fights on the card will feature a man with over a hundred professional MMA fights and more than forty submission wins, Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa, and he will be facing off against a former professional Sumo wrestler, Tsuyoshi Sudario.
RIZIN 26 Full Card
Bantamweight Title Fight: Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Kickboxing: Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Kumandoi Phetjaroenvit
Catchweight (150 lbs): Mikuru Asakura vs. Satoshi Yamasu
Special Rules – Standing Only: Takanori Gomi vs. Koji Tanaka
Atomweight Title Fight: Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
Bantamweight: Yuki Motoyo vs. Naoki Inoue
Catchweight (148 lbs): Kyle Aguon vs. Kleber Koike
Catchweight (150 lbs): Kyohei Hagiwara vs. Ren Hiramoto
Bantamweight: Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota
Kickboxing: Yoshinari Nadaka vs. Petmalai Phetjaroenvit
Bantamweight: Ulka Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa
Atomweight: Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu
Catchweight (139 lbs): Taiyo Nakahara vs. Kazuma Kuramoto
Heavyweight: Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario
Strawweight: Sakura Mori vs. Eru Takebayashi
The full RIZIN 26 PPV event will be available to watch on live-now.com, click here to sign up and watch.