Tenshin Nasukawa has a new opponent for his return to the Rizin Fighting Federation ring Sunday in Kobe, Japan.
The kickboxing phenom was slated to take on ISKA featherweight champion Ahmed Ferradji. However, Rizin announced on Monday that Ferradji has withdrawn from the bout “without a valid reason” and the ISKA decided to strip him of the title, announcing Nasukawa versus Martin Blanco instead.
Blanco, 8-1 in kickboxing with three knockout wins, is the ISKA bantamweight champion. The 30-year-old Argentinian will move up to featherweight to face the undefeated Japanese star, who holds a perfect 4-0 record as a MMA fighter and is 31-0 in kickboxing with 24 knockouts.
“I am very happy and thankful for fighting in Japan,” Blanco stated in a release. “The fight with Tenshin will be a fight to see who lands the bigger shots. We have a fight plan set for movements and exchanges. We hope for a KO, but will do what it takes to hand the kid his first loss. I look forward in becoming a two-division champion and to take another belt back to my home Argentina.”
Rizin 16 will be headlined by a champion vs. champion bout, featuring Rizin super atomweight queen Ayaka Hamasaki and Invicta FC atomweight titleholder Jinh Yu Frey. The complete card can be seen below.
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Jinh Yu Frey
Kanna Asakura vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
Erson Yamamoto vs. Tim Eschtruth
Roque Martinez vs. Jake Heun
Yusaku Nakamura vs. Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai
Daron Cruickshank vs. Tofiq Musaev
Takaki Soya vs. Namiki Kawahara
Mamoru Uoi vs. Kana Hyatt
Martin Blanco vs. Tenshin Nasukawa
ITTO vs. Kan Nakamura
Kunitaka vs. Kizaemon Saiga
Hiroto Yamaguchi vs. Taiju Shiratori
YUYA vs. Yuki Tanaka
Seiki Ueyama vs. KENGO