RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara meets with Dana White, teases announcement: “Stay tuned!”

By Josh Evanoff - February 8, 2024

It seems that RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara and UFC executive Dana White have something cooking.

Dana White, Nobuyuki Sakakibara

In recent weeks, Dana White has been seen with a variety of fellow combat sports promoters. Names such as Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, BKFC’s David Feldman, and more, have been seen meeting with the UFC boss. Now, fans can add RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara to that list.

The two promoters have a lengthy past together. Famously, Nobuyuki Sakakibara was the brains behind PRIDE, the UFC’s main competitor in the 90s and early 2000s. However, the Dana White-led company wound up buying out the Japanese entity. As a result, Sakakibara went on hiatus until 2015, when he founded RIZIN.

The Japanese-based company has been going strong for years now, and houses names such as Kyoji Horiguchi. Given their wealth of talent, Nobuyuki Sakakibara has been steadfast in the idea that co-promotion is a great thing in the MMA world. That could be why he decided to meet with Dana White earlier this week.

The RIZIN President himself shared the image on social media. In the caption of the post, Sakakibara stated that what the two men discussed, will remain a secret. However, he offered that fans should stay tuned for what’s to come.


RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara meets with UFC executive Dana White

“Visited the UFC headquarters and had a meeting with Dana White.” The caption on Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s social media post read earlier this week. “It was raining all day that day, which is very unusual in the desert based Las Vegas. What we talked about is a secret. lol Stay tuned!”

While Nobuyuki Sakakibara didn’t specify what he and Dana White discussed, one has to wonder if it relates to the aforementioned Kyoji Horiguchi. ‘The Typhoon’ is fresh off a second-round submission win over Makoto Takahashi in December, at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event. In the process, winning the promotion’s flyweight title.

Despite that championship victory, the flyweight titleholder later announced his plans to return to the UFC. However, seeing as how Kyoji Horiguchi was under contract with RIZIN, and had some sort of a deal with Bellator, those return plans seemed a bit optimistic. That was until the two promoters met earlier this week.

Obviously, there’s no guarantee that the two discussed a potential UFC return for Kyoji Horiguchi. Although, fans shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. As Nobuyuki Sakakibara wrote on his social media post with Dana White, there should be news soon.

What do you make of this news involving Nobuyuki Sakakibara and Dana White? Do you want to see the UFC and RIZIN do some sort of cross-promotion?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Dana White Nobuyuki Sakakibara RIZIN FF UFC