RIZIN Fighting Federation, the upstart mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion headed by former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, held a media press conference earlier today (Mon., Nov. 30, 2015) to announce the participants of its upcoming eight-man heavyweight tournament.
Ahem ... drums please.
1. King Mo vs. Brett McDermott
2. Teodoras Aukstolos vs. Bruno Cappelozza
3. Satoshi Ishii vs. Jiri Prochazka
4. Goran Reljic vs. Vadim Nemkov
5. Valentin Moldavsky vs. Yuta Uchida (reserve bout)
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal was originally expected to be paired off against Mark Godbeer; however, "The Hand Of" was recently injured and forced to withdraw.
The Rizin heavyweight tournament goes down Dec. 29 in Japan, with the semifinals (and finals) taking place on New Year's Eve, the same card featuring the long-awaited return of Fedor Emelianenko (more on that here). The tournament winner takes home $500,000.
And no doubt a considerable argument for taking on "The Last Emperor" in 2016.