Rizin Fighting Federation
|Industry||Mixed martial arts promotion|
|Parent||Dream Factory Worldwide|
Rizin Fighting Federation (Rizin FF) is a Japanese mixed martial arts organization created in 2015 by the former Pride Fighting Championships and Dream Stage Entertainment president Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
The precursors to Rizin were Pride Fighting Championships and DREAM, the latter of which was founded in 2008 through a collaboration with Fighting and Entertainment Group and Dream Stage Entertainment. Three years after DREAM folded in the summer of 2012, rumors began circulating that Pride and Dream founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara would return to the industry after an interview with Bellator MMA President Scott Coker was released.
On September 19, 2015 during Bellator MMA & Glory: Dynamite 1, it was announced that Sakakibara had signed former Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko to headline a New Year's Eve Show in Tokyo for his new MMA promotion. Sakakibara held a press conference on October 8, 2015 with Nobuhiko Takada and other former Pride FC employees to formally announce the launch of Rizin Fighting Federation. Initial signees included Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, as well as female competitors Gabi Garcia and RENA.
A Grand Prix tournament was announced (held at 100 kg or roughly 220 lbs), with champions and competitors from Bellator, KSW, Jungle Fight, BAMMA, and King of Kings. Most notably, King Mo was announced to represent Bellator in the tournament. The 8-man bracket was officially finalized on November 30, 2015, with other bouts also being announced shortly thereafter. Kron Gracie (whose father Rickson competed at the inaugural PRIDE event) was announced to participate against Asen Yamamoto. Amongst the veterans in the Japanese scene, Tsuyoshi Kosaka would face James Thompson, and Akebono Tarō would face Bob Sapp.
Initial plans were to do at least four events per year, as opposed to the more frequent scheduling of other promotions, in order to build up the excitement and anticipation. Rizin's presentation is modeled after major sporting events, such as the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup.
Broadcasting and coverage
Rizin's inaugural event was broadcast in North America on Spike TV. Other broadcasters have included SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, Fuji Television, Fox Sports Brazil, Kix and Match TV. Since 2017, Rizin events have been streaming on FITE TV in North America and Europe.
List of Rizin FF events
|Featherweight||Yutaka Saito||November 21, 2020||0|
|Bantamweight||Kyoji Horiguchi||December 31, 2020||0|
|Women's Super Atomweight||Ayaka Hamasaki||December 31, 2020||0|
Light Heavyweight Championship
- Weight limit: 93 kg (205.0 lb)
|1|| Jiří Procházka
def. Muhammed Lawal
|April 21, 2019||1. def. C. B. Dollaway at Rizin 20 on December 31, 2019|
|Title vacated after Procházka left Rizin for UFC.|
- Weight limit: 66 kg (145.5 lb)
|1|| Yutaka Saito
def. Mikuru Asakura
|November 21, 2020|
- Weight limit: 61 kg (134.5 lb)
|1|| Kyoji Horiguchi
def. Darrion Caldwell
|December 31, 2018|
|Title vacated after Horiguchi was unable to defend the title due to injury.|
|2|| Manel Kape
def. Kai Asakura
|December 31, 2019|
|Title vacated after Kape signed with the UFC.|
|3|| Kai Asakura
def. Hiromasa Ougikubo
|August 10, 2020|
|4||Kyoji Horiguchi (2)||Rizin 26
|December 31, 2020|
Women's Super Atomweight Championship
- Weight limit: 49 kg (108.0 lb)
|1|| Ayaka Hamasaki
def. Kanna Asakura
|December 31, 2018||1. def. Jinh Yu Frey at Rizin 16 on June 2, 2019|
|2||Seo Hee Ham||Rizin 20
|December 31, 2019|
|Seo Hee Ham vacated her title after being unable to agree on her next fight with the organization and signed with ONE Championship.|
|3|| Ayaka Hamasaki (2)
def. Miyuu Yamamoto
|December 31, 2020|
|Weight Class||Champion||Runner-up||Event||Date||Tournament Bracket|
|Rizin Heavyweight 100 kg 2015||Muhammed Lawal||Jiří Procházka||Rizin WGP 2015: Part 2 - Iza||December 31, 2015||Rizin 100 Kg Grand-Prix bracket|
|Rizin Openweight 2016||Mirko Filipović||Amir Aliakbari||Rizin WGP 2016: Final Round||December 31, 2016||Rizin Openweight Grand Prix 2016 bracket|
|Rizin Bantamweight 61 kg 2017||Kyoji Horiguchi||Shintaro Ishiwatari||Rizin WGP 2017: Final Round||December 31, 2017||Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix 2017 bracket|
|Rizin Women's Super Atomweight 49 kg 2017||Kanna Asakura||Rena Kubota||Rizin WGP 2017: Final Round||December 31, 2017||Rizin Women's Super Atomweight Grand Prix 2017 bracket|
|Rizin Lightweight 71 kg 2019||Tofiq Musayev||Patricky Freire||Rizin 20 - Saitama||December 31, 2019||Rizin Lightweight Grand Prix bracket|
|Weight Class||Champion||Runner-Up||Event||Date||Tournament Bracket|
|Rizin Kickboxing Flyweight 57 kg 2017||Tenshin Nasukawa||Yamato Fujita||Rizin WGP 2017: Final Round||December 31, 2017||Rizin Flyweight KB Tournament|
- Goran Reljić
- Mirko Filipović
- Jarred Brooks
- Bob Sapp
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Muhammed Lawal
- Tenshin Nasukawa
- Kyoji Horiguchi
- Kai Asakura
- Victor Henry
- Shintaro Ishiwatari
- Naoki Inoue
- Hiromasa Ougikubo
- Takafumi Otsuka
- Ulka Sasaki
- Justin Scoggins
- Ben Nguyen
- Diego Brandao
- Gabi Garcia
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Daron Cruickshank
- Ren Hiramoto
- Amir Aliakbari
- Fedor Emelianenko
- Vadim Nemkov
Rizin FF is affiliated with the following organizations:
- "Nobuyuki Sakakibara discusses Rizin FF plans for 2016, Fedor Emelianenko's opponent, drug testing and more". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Former Pride FC boss: Fedor's opponent will mean something for future of MMA". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Concept". rizinff.com. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
- "K-1's new Dream includes Cro Cop". Mma Weekly. February 13, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- FEG's bankruptcy, May 17, 2012, Muay Thai TV
- "Scott Coker: Former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara planning MMA return in 2015". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
- Fedor Emelianenko Returns To MMA On New Year’s Eve
- RIZIN Japan - What We Can Expect From The Newcomer
- "Long after his prime, Kazushi Sakuraba is in the position to save Japanese MMA". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Newly crowned Jungle Fight champion enters Rizin FF heavyweight tournament". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "'King Mo' to represent Bellator in Rizin light heavyweight grand prix". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Rizin announces heavyweight tournament bracket". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal lands opponent at RIZIN FF". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Bellator fighter Brennan Ward, additional mixed-rules fight announced for Rizin debut". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Jerome LeBanner returns to MMA at Rizin". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Kron Gracie added to Rizin FF card in December". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Fedor Emelianenko still without an opponent, Tsuyoshi Kosaka to face James Thompson at Rizin". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Rizin signs Sapp vs. Akebono rematch for its debut". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Nobuyuki Sakakibara discusses Rizin FF plans for 2016, Fedor Emelianenko's opponent, drug testing and more". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "Concept". rizinff.com. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
- Video:Fedor: Return Of The Last Emperor
- "Event Summary Rizen Fighting Federation". rizinff.com. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- "Rizin FF Partners with FITE TV". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
- "Bruno Massami on Twitter 31-12-2019". gazetaesportiva.com.
- "Floyd Mayweather dominates Tenshin Nasukawa in exhibition". japantimes.co.jp.
- "Rizin Heisei's Last Yarennoka! and RIZIN 14 official results and post fight backstage interviews". fightbookmma.com.
- Jesse Holland (April 2, 2020). "RIZIN cancels April and May events, vacates bantamweight title". mmamania.com.
- "Seo Hee Ham vacates Rizin super atomweight title". asianmma.com. October 16, 2020.
- "RIZIN Fighting Federation". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2015-11-25.