The second of two debut events for Rizin FF takes place on New Years Eve with a card loaded with some of the best MMA talent around. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight division bout as Fedor Emelianenko returns from retirement to fight Jaideep Singh. Also, the heavyweight grand prix concludes and professional wrestling Lei Dâ€™ Tapa makes her professional MMA debut.
(Note: I will not be previewing the finals of the heavyweight grand prix due to the fact that the semi-finals will be happening earlier in the show, thus I do not yet know who is in the finals.)
Rizin FF Heavyweight Division Fight
â€œThe Last Emperorâ€ Fedor Emelianenko (34-4-0-1NC) vs. Jaideep â€œHeartâ€ Singh (2-0-0)
Emelianenko will be returning from action following a self-imposed retirement that has last for the last four-plus years. Singh has only competed in one professional MMA in the last two years, which was a win over Carlos Toyota at DEEP 73. Emelianenko does enter the fight riding a three fight winning streak, which includes wins over UFC veterans Jeff Monson and Pedro Rizzo. Singh, outside of a tiny run as a professional MMA fighter, is also an accomplished professional kickboxer as well. Singh is being brought in so the fans can see Emelianenko get the knockout win, which will happen in quick fashion in the first round.
Rizin FF Featherweight Division Fight
Kron Gracie (1-0-0) vs. Asen Yamamoto (0-0-0)
Gracie made his professional MMA debut over a year ago at Real Fighting Championships I, defeating Hyung Soo Kim by submission. Yamamoto will be making his professional MMA debut in this fight and he has no amateur experience to speak of. Yamamoto has been brought in for the same reason as Jaideep Singh, but it will be Gracie getting the easy win via first round submission.
Rizin FF Lightweight Division Fight
Andy â€œThe Destroyerâ€ Souwer (0-0-0) vs. Yuichiro â€œJienotsuâ€ Nagashima (4-2-0)
Souwer will be making his professional MMA debut in this fight, but he does have plenty of experience as a professional boxer. Nagashima will be returning to action after being away for nearly a decade, with his last bout being a loss to Hiroshi Shiba at Real Rhythm V. Souwer has the striking skills to be a great MMA fighter as time goes on, his ground game will be suspect, but that will not matter as Souwer flattens Nagashima with strikes in the first round.
Rizin FF Openweight Division Fight
Peter â€œThe Dutch Lumberjackâ€ Aerts (1-1-0) vs. Kaido â€œBarudo Kaitoâ€ Hoovelson (0-0-0)
Aerts will be competing in a professional MMA fight for the first time in over a decade, but he is a highly accomplished K-1 competitor. Hoovelson will be making his professional MMA debut in this fight and he is a very accomplished sumo wrestler. Hoovelson will need to close the distance quickly against Aerts, but Aerts is an amazing striker and he will finish Hoovelson in the first.
Rizin FF Womenâ€™s Light Heavyweight Division Fight
Gabi Garcia (0-0-0) vs. Seini â€œLei Dâ€™ Tapaâ€ Draughn (0-0-0)
Garcia will be making her professional MMA debut in this fight and she was a coach with Wanderlei Silva on the UFC Ultimate Fighter Brazil II. Draughn will also be making her professional MMA debut in this fight and she is a former Ohio Valley Wrestling Womenâ€™s Champion and former TNA wrestler. Draighn has been training over a year for this bout, but Garcia has been racking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championships for many years now, Garcia taps out Draughn in just a few minutes into the first round.
Rizin FF Bantamweight Division Fight
Soo Chul Kim (11-5-1) vs. Maike Linhares Galvao Amorim (9-0-0)
Kim has won four of his last five fights entering this bout and he once challenged for the Road FC Bantamweight Championship. Amorim will be competing for the third time this year and none of his nine professional bouts went to a decision. The majority of this fight should be contested on the ground, which is where Amorim grinds out a close decision victory.
Rizin FF Catchweight Division Fight
Ken Hasegawa (10-0-1) vs. â€œIrishâ€ Brennan Ward (12-3-0)
Hasegawa has spent the majority of his career competing overseas, but he did defeat Matt Thompson in his lone stateside appearance at Titan FC 31. Ward is a Bellator MMA representative in this fight and his last four fights have all ended in the first round. This fight should be a slugfest from beginning to end, but it will be Ward catching Hasegawa with the strikes for another first round win.
Rizin FF Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final Fight
Vadim Nemkov (5-0-0) vs. Jiri â€œDenisaâ€ Prochazka (15-2-1)
Nemkov punched his ticket to the semi-finals after defeating UFC veteran Goral Reljic by first round knockout. Prochazka scored the biggest upset of the first round when he defeated heavily favored Satoshi Ishii by knockout. These are two fighters that nobody thought would make it to the next round, but it will be Prochazka using his reach to catch Nemkov with a head kick knockout.
Rizin FF Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final Fight
Muhammed â€œKing Moâ€ Lawal (17-4-0-1NC) vs. Teodoras Aukstoulis (8-2-0)
Lawal earned his way to the semi-finals after defeating Brett McDermott by knockout, it was the longest fight in the tournament thus far. Aukstoulis moved on to the second round of the tournament when he defeated Bruno Henrique Cappelozza by knockout. Lawalâ€™s ground game is the true X factor in this fight, but he will not need it as he knocks out Aukstoulis in the first.
Rizin FF Womenâ€™s Strawweight Division Fight
Rena Kobuta (0-0-0) vs. Jleana Valentino (0-0-0)
Kubota will be making her professional MMA debut this week, but she is a highly accomplished pro kickboxer. Valentino will also be making her professional MMA debut in this fight and she has no amateur experience to speak of. Kubota is one of the better female kickboxers to enter MMA in a long time, she knocks out Valentino in the first round.
Follow me on Twitter @Phil121Person
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org