As per usual, RIZIN is closing out the year with a bang. For 2020, it’s RIZIN 26, and to fully complete the lineup, “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi is back.
The promotion held a press conference on Monday to announce the finishing touches on the card. Which included the lightweight legend being booked for a “special standing bout” exhibition with Koji “Kouzi” Tanaka.
The current revealed details can be read as follows.
“Both fighters will only be allowed to punch with the exception of back fist blows. Both fighters will be barefooted and the bout will consist of three, three-minute rounds with no decisions.”
— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) December 21, 2020
At 42-years old, Gomi’s most recent fight took place two years ago when he snapped his six-fight losing streak with a first-round knockout of Melvin Guillard. The fight was Gomi’s second under the RIZIN banner thus making him 1-1 (36-15 overall).
“I’d like to show the best I could do as a fighter in my 40’s,” Gomi said via press release. “I’ll try not to get in the way of the young kids trying to do their thing but I think it’ll be a good workout. I don’t even know who this kid is, I don’t follow such a terrible sport.
“There’s going to be a weight difference so I’m okay with this kid wearing headgear and smaller gloves. I have always been interested in boxing, so I’m kind of excited. [Floyd] Mayweather will be fighting in Japan next year too.”
The 31-year old 132-pound Tanaka is 28-14-2 in his kickboxing career. The striker made his RIZIN debut at RIZIN 24 in September when he headlined opposite Tenshin Nasukawa. Unfortunately for “Kouzi,” Tenshin would end up walking away with the unanimous decision win. Prior to that, he’d rattled off three straight.
“It took long to get this confirmed but I think this will be a fun fight,” Tanaka expressed. “Gomi was a great fighter. He used to be ‘The Fireball Kid,’ but now he’s just Saggyball pops.”
This bout makes for only the second non-MMA match on RIZIN 26. In addition, Tenshin has also been added to the card so that will be an extra kickboxing matchup. However, his opponent remains to be determined.
The full lineup for the big New Year’s Eve show can be seen below. The event will also feature the return of an English stream with commentary provided by Frank Trigg and Joe Ferraro. To watch the English stream on fight night, click: here.
- Bantamweight – 135lbs: (C)Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
- Super atomweight – 108lbs: (C) – Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
- Super atomweight (no elbows allowed): Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu
- Bantamweight: Yuki Motoya vs. Naoki Inoue
- Catchweight – 149lbs: Ren Hiramoto vs. Kyohei Hagiwara
- Heavyweight – 207-265lbs (no elbows allowed): Sudario Tsuyoshi vs. Minowaman
- Bantamweight: Ulka Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa
- Bantamweight: Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota
- Catchweight – 149lbs: Mikuru Asakura vs. Satoshi Yamasu
- Catchweight – 147lbs: Kleber Koike vs. Kyle Aguon
- Catchweight – 138lbs: Kazuma Kuramoto vs. Taiyo Nakahara
- Kickboxing: Catchweight – 110lbs: Nadaka Yoshinari vs. Phetmarai Phetjaroenvit
- Special Standing bout: Koji “Kouzi” Tanaka vs. Takanori Gomi
- Kickboxing: Tenshin Nasukawa vs. TBD
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/21/2020.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM