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Jiri Prochazka meets Fabio Maldonado in non-title fight at Rizin 19; participants announced for lightweight GP

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Jiri Prochazka's title will not be on the line when he faces Fabio Maldonado in Okasa, Japan.
Rizin FF

Rizin Fighting Federation officially announced some news related to its upcoming event on Oct. 12 in Osaka, Japan, including the eight fighters that will be part of the lightweight tournament.

The fight card will be headlined by Rizin light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka taking on UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado in a 220-pound non-title bout.

Prochazka (24-3-1) is coming off eight straight victories, capped off by a title win over Muhammed Lawal in April, while Maldonado (25-13) returns to MMA after a pair of defeats in boxing bouts earlier this year. In his last MMA fight in Dec. 2018, the Brazilian striker finished Thiago Silva Batista in Sao Paulo.

The other match-ups confirmed for the event are Seo Hee Ham vs Miyuu Yamamoto, Marcos de Souza vs Keita Nakamura and Rena Kubota vs Shawna Ram.

“I’m really happy for this opponent,” Prochazka stated in a release. “It’s a real challenge for me. I saw him one time, when he fought with Fedor Emelianenko and he showed a very good and tough fight. He’s a different type of opponent than I’ve ever had, but this is the right challenge for me. I want to win without compromise and to show all Japanese fans that my strategy is on the next level. I’m looking forward to Japan and Rizin!”

“I am very happy to be able to fight in Rizin,” Maldonado said. “I am sure that the Japanese fans will love my style. Jiri is a very tough opponent and the perfect one for an epic battle.”

The eight names announced for the lightweight tournament are Bellator lightweight contender Patricky Freire (21-8), Johnny Case (26-6-1), Luiz Gustavo (9-1), Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-13-2), Tofiq Musaev (15-3), Roberto de Souza (9-0), Damien Brown (19-12) and Hiroto Uesako (16-7). According to the promotion, “the matchups for the opening rounds are yet to be determined, however a drawing is scheduled next week”.