2022 is anticipated to be the RIZIN Fighting Federation’s biggest year yet.
With the addition of two new event types in 2021, RIZIN Trigger and RIZIN Landmark, the promotion is set to have double its usual number of events per year. As COVID-19 restrictions slowly dwindle, the return of international athletes could make for an injection of life.
Feb. 23, 2022, will see RIZIN Trigger 2nd go down as it’s headlined by former Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW) 145-pound Featherweight champion Kleber Koike and UFC veteran Ulka Sasaki. The submission wizard in Koike made his appearance on the latest edition of BROADENED HORIZIN to discuss the matchup and how he felt missing out on the last title fight. The 32-year-old is undefeated in his three RIZIN appearances (28-5-1) and has submitted all of his opponents — the last being Mikuru Asakura in the RIZIN 28 headliner. Unlike the regular RIZIN events, the Trigger series takes place in the cage, an enclosure both Koike and Sasaki are very familiar with.
125-pound Flyweight standout, Shizuka Sugiyama also joined the show ahead of her showdown with Mikkiko Shimizu at Deep Jewels 36 on Mar. 12, 2022. The fight takes place in the opening round of the Deep Jewels Flyweight tournament which also features the equally experienced Rin Nakai. Sugiyama discussed her immediate matchup as well as the potential of facing the ex-Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight. Sugiyama’s last appearance in the RIZIN ring came in Dec. 2018 but she’s since been perfect with four consecutive victories.
RIZIN matchmaker and show interpreter, Shingo Kashiwagi took the time to chat to close out the show as per usual. As a former King of the Cage representative, he reflected on the evolution of Sean Strickland and provided updates on international fighters in RIZIN along with the Bantamweight title picture.
Watch the full episode in the video above or you can listen on Spotify.