Rizin FF’s July card is looking very interesting after some new additions this weekend.
Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi will take on UFC veteran Melvin Guillard at Rizin 11 on July 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan, the promotion announced on social media. Also added to the card is a fight between UFC veteran Diego Brandao and longtime pro Satoru Kitaoka.
Gomi was initially slated to face Andy Souwer on the card, but Guillard will now replace him. The fight will take place at 73kg (about 161 pounds).
Gomi (35-15) has dropped six in a row, including his return to Japan for Rizin in December against Yusuke Yachi by first-round submission. “The Fireball Kid,” now 39 years old, was once considered one of the best lightweight fighters on the planet, but he had a rocky run in the UFC.
Guillard (32-21-2) is winless in his last nine fights and has not tallied a victory since 2014 under the World Series of Fighting banner. Like Gomi, the Louisiana native was once considered near the top of the division at 155 pounds. Guillard, 35, has fought for the UFC, Bellator, WSOF and countless other promotions going back to 2002.
Brandao (22-12) had a two-fight winning streak snapped last September with a second-round TKO loss to Akhmed Aliev at Fight Nights Global in Russia. The Brazilian fighter won two straight after being let go by the UFC following a positive marijuana test and felony arrest. Brandao, 31, owns wins over Dennis Bermudez and Brian Foster.
Kitaoka (41-16-9) is coming off a first-round submission win over Taras Sapa at Pancrase 295 in April. The Japanese fighter had lost two straight prior to that, both under the Rizin banner. Kitaoka, 38, owns wins over Carlos Condit, Daron Cruickshank and Gomi in his 18-year career.
Rizin 11 is headlined by a 132-pound bout between former UFC top flyweight contender Kyoji Horiguchi and Ultimate Fighter favorite Hiromasa Ogikubo. Also on the card, Kanna Asakura faces Rena Kubota in a key Rizin women’s match. Rin Nikai, Miyuu Yamamoto, Kai Asakura and Cruickshank are among the other notable names.