Sakakibara has revealed the name for his MMA promotion, but not Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent. Here are details on the new promotion called Rizin FF.
During a press conference in Japan, former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara revealed details about his NYE plans, which involves a 3-day event for a promotion he calls Rizin Fighting Federation.
While the name of the organization has been revealed, Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent wasn’t. Earlier reports indicate that the heavyweight great will face the 1-0 Jaideep Singh, but the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
The Last Emperor was in attendance during the presser, and will be headlining the event on December 31st. The 30th will be a Fan Expo of sorts, while the 29th will be another fight card announced to be headlined by Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Shinya Aoki.
Decorated grappling champ Gabi Garcia and kickboxing star Rena Kubota will both be making their MMA debuts as well, against yet to be announced opponents. You can watch the full press conference above.
Related: The Emperor Returns shirts now on sale!
Here are other tidbits announced during the press conference:
– Scott Coker and Spike TV’s Jon Slusser were also in attendance, and confirmed that Bellator fighters will also be competing during the 3-day event.
– The NYE event will be called Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2015, and apart from Bellator fighters, they will also include competitors from other partner promotions such as King of Kings, Bushido, KSW, Jungle Fight, and BAMMA. The line up is also expected to feature Russian fighters, along with some talent from the Japanese amateur wrestling scene.
– It will be held in a ring, and mostly PRIDE rules are going to be used, including the 10-minute opening round, with knees, soccer kicks, and stomps allowed on the ground. The inclusion of elbows, which weren’t legal before in PRIDE, are still going to be discussed.
– Women’s fights will be treated differently and held on three 5-minute rounds.
– They expect to have up to 30 fights with MMA, kickboxing, and possibly others under various rule sets.
– The event will air in Spike TV, with Bellator commentators handling the duties on the US-side of the broadcast. As for the Japanese broadcast, they revealed that they’re currently negotiating with Fuji TV, which was a partner of PRIDE before their demise, but there’s still no confirmation whether it will be shown live.