In what looks to be a first-time ever occurrence in a major MMA promotion, both a mother and her son will be competing on the same stage next month.
Rizin announced on Monday that Miyu Yamamoto, 41, a three-time world champion in women's freestyle wrestling, would make her MMA debut on their Sept. 25 show at the Saitama Super Arena.
Her son, Asen Yamamoto (0-1), 19, will face Kizaemon Saiga, on the same show. Yamamoto lost his pro debut on New Year's Eve's Rizin show to Kron Gracie, the son of Rickson Gracie. Asen Yamamoto was an age group wold champion at 17 under the name Asen Sasaki.
Both are members of Japan's "royal family" of wrestling, with patriarch Ikuei Yamamoto, who competed for Japan in the 1972 Olympics. Miyu Yamamoto was well known in Japan in the 90s because of her looks and being the daughter of the former Olympian, particularly after capturing a world championship at the age of 17 in 1991. In 1994, she did a freestyle wrestling match at the biggest women's pro wrestling event in history at the Tokyo Dome before 32,500 fans. She later won world championships in 1994 and 1995.
She married Enson Inoue, a Hawaiian who was one of the early stars of MMA in Japan. The two broke up in 2004. Asen Yamamoto's father was an Olympic skier, Akira Sasaki.
Miyu Yamamoto is the older sister of Seiko Yamamoto, a four-time world champion from 1999 to 2002, and of UFC fighter Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who was at one time Japan's biggest MMA star.
Miyu Yamamoto had trained for a comeback in wrestling both in an attempt to make the 2012 Japanese Olympic team, and most recently, in an attempt to make the Canadian Olympic team.