ONE x2, RIZIN, and Fight Circus 🎪
Noteworthy Events in the Next Weeks
I’m scanning ahead in my calendar and see we’ve got quite a lot of Asia-focused MMA on the horizon, so I figured I might do a brief preview post reminding everyone what’s coming down the pike. Get out your pencils or apps or whatever and take note.
First up is the biggest lil’ doggy in the litter and not actually MMA: FIRST STRIKE. Set for October 15th at 8:30PM in Singapore (morning in the States), ONE Championship’s all-striking event has all the kickboxing freaks on Twitter salivating. The epic show has actually shrunk somewhat and lost its impressive undercard due to renewed COVID regulations. Rather than explain it, I’ll link the informative SCMP post where I got the info. Follow Nick Atkin for the good ONE dope.
The following week, on the afternoon of Sunday October 24th in Japan - Saturday night in the USA - who the fuck knows in Europe, we have RIZIN 31. It honestly looks a bit more like a mid-tier regional MMA card than we like to see from RIZIN, but such is life amidst a pandemic that still significantly impacts travel to and from Japan and mostly precludes foreign fighters. Some highlights include child-murderer Nadaka Yoshinari (he’s a child who murders, he doesn’t murder children…); ex-sumo Tsuyoshi Sudario; promotional darling Kanna Askura (who was really really good in her last fight even though she lost to champ Ayaka Hamasaki - I’ve never been particularly impressed with her and I was impressed); and the featherweight title main event between… who’s the champ again? Kleber Koike? Mikuru Asakura? (It’s a joke sucker, look at the poster.)
The show takes place in Yokohama and I’m seriously thinking about writing like an excessively long post about Yokohama history that nobody reads. I’m sure it’ll be fun and there’ll be some cracking fights regardless; it’s RIZIN.
*Oh fuck, now I realize that the Bellator show in Russia with Fedor is at 3AM in Japan the night before RIZIN. That’s gonna suck.
Just a few days later on the evening of October 29th we’re back in Singapore with ONE NEXT GEN, a continuation of the women’s atomweight tournament and some big boy kickboxing (which is the best kickboxing for a casual like me). Former RIZIN champ Seo Hee Ham is unfortunately out of the tournament with an injury, but Japanese MMA fans still have Itsuki Hirata to cheer for. She should be in a for a good grappling scrap against Indian wrestling royalty Ritu Phogat.
For more detailed and objective previews of the RIZIN and ONE shows (not my schtick), I’d suggest Knockdown News closer to the event. Jack Wannan always nails the Who, What, When, Where of classic journalism that so many others miss.
Our final installment is an awesome bit of weirdness I’m like 50% confident will actually happen - it’s been cancelled twice so far I believe - but we can hope and pray. I’m speaking of Fight Circus 3 scheduled for November 5th or 6th, depending on where you are in the world. If you haven’t seen Fight Circus, you’re seriously missing out and need to make some time to catch up. A good place to start are my Fight Pizza diaries of the events: FC1 and FC2. I have zero idea what any of the fights are and you’ve most likely never heard of any of the fighters anyway - unless Bob Sapp shows up again - but trust me, it’ll be worth watching even if there are a few uncomfortably exploitative and/or cringe-worthy moments along the way.
So that’s the next month or so of MMA on the Fight Pizza buffet. Not a bad lineup. Stuff your fucking faces, degenerates. 🍕🤛