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Rizin 15 card finalized, Shinju Nozawa-Auclair out with injury

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Flyweight prospect Shinju Nozawa-Auclair has been forced to withdraw from Rizin 15, but the show must go on.

Officials revealed the finalized card for Sunday’s show at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, which confirmed the news that Nozawa-Auclair has suffered an ankle injury that led to her removal from her scheduled bout with Rizin newcomer Saray Orozco (4-2). Kanako Murata (8-1) will replace Nozawa-Auclair against Orozco.

Nozawa-Auclair released a statement on her Instagram addressing her withdrawal.

In the video, Nozawa-Auclair explains that she suffered her injury in wrestling practice and despite her best efforts to work through it, eventually discovered that she was not fit to compete. She elaborated on her decision to withdraw in a caption, which can be read below:

I’m incredibly frustrated at the situation but I have to accept that this is outside of my control and make peace with the circumstances. I have previously fought with torn ligaments in my elbow and although I was able to overcome the injury during the fight, I ended up causing further damage to my body forcing me to the sidelines for a whole year and doubling my original recovery time. As to not make the same mistake twice, I, under medical guidance, have chosen to pull out of this fight with deep regret. To my opponent Saray, I am extremely sorry. To anyone who this may disappoint, please forgive me. Thank you for understanding!

She also thanked Murata for taking her spot.

Orozco, who has competed on the Mexican circuit, has won her last three fights, while Murata has won four straight and is 4-1 in five appearances for Rizin.

The rest of the Rizin 15 card was finalized on Wednesday. In the headliner, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (21-8) faces Jiri Prochazka (23-3-1) for the inaugural Rizin light heavyweight title. This is a rematch of their December 2015 Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals matchup that Lawal won by first-round knockout.

See the full event lineup below:

Muhammed Lawal vs. Jiri Prochazka

Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Fritz Aldin Biagtan - kickboxing

Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ben Nguyen

Satoru Kitaoka vs. Roberto Satoshi Souza

Karl Albrektsson vs. Christiano Frohlich

RENA vs. Samantha Jean-Francois

Mikuru Asakura vs. Luiz Gustavo

Kana Watanabe vs. Justyna Zofia Haba

Damien Brown vs. Koji Takeda

Manel Kape vs. Seiichiro Ito

Saray Orozco vs. Kanako Murata

TAIGA vs. Thallison Ferreira - kickboxing

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