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RIZIN cancels April and May events, vacates bantamweight title

It was a busy day for RIZIN Fighting Federation, as founder and president Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that RIZIN 22, scheduled for April 19 inside Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, was canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. So too, was the May event planned for Sendai.

Japan currently has 2,384 infected and 57 dead.

Assuming things get back to normal over the next few months, the promotion is planning to hold a mid-summer MMA festival in “The Land of the Rising Sun,” which is expected to include the vacant bantamweight title now that former champion, Manel Kape, has set sail for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

In addition, the lightweight affair between Kotetsu Boku and Mikuru Asakura will be rebooked for a later date.

With no mixed martial arts (MMA) action on tap for the foreseeable future, Sakakibara intends to release some of the promotion’s “greatest hits” on YouTube to keep RIZIN fans satiated until order is restored.