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Tenshin Nasukawa, Takanori Gomi announced as late additions to RIZIN 26

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Kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa (pictured, right) will return to the RIZIN ring on New Year’s Eve
Rizin FF

RIZIN announced a couple of late additions to the final card of the year in Saitama, Japan, with the return of kickboxing phenom Tenshin Nasukawa and veteran Takanori Gomi on Dec. 31.

The company has yet to announce an opponent for Nasukawa, who scored nine of his 39 wins under the company banner.

Gomi takes on kickboxer Koji Tanaka in a “special standing bout” in which both fighters “will only be allowed to punch with the exception of backfist blows.” There will be no decision announced after three rounds of three minutes each, RIZIN announced.

Gomi knocked out Melvin Guillard inside one round in his last MMA bout in July 2018, while “Kouzi” Tanaka lost a decision to Nasukawa under kickboxing rules in his RIZIN debut in September.

“I’d like to show the best I could do as a fighter in my 40’s,” Gomi stated in a release. “I’ll try not to get in the way of the young kids trying to do their thing but I think it’ll be a good workout. … I don’t even know who this kid is, I don’t follow such a terrible sport.”

“There’s going to be a weight difference so I’m okay with this kid wearing head gear and smaller gloves,” he added. “I have always been interested in boxing, so I’m kind of excited. (Floyd) Mayweather will be fighting in Japan next year too.”

“Gomi was a great fighter,” Tanaka said. “He used to be the Fireball kid, but now he’s just a Saggyball pops.”

RIZIN 26 will be headlined by a highly anticipated rematch between Kai Asakura and Kyoji Horiguchi for the bantamweight championship. The super atomweight belt will be on the line when Ayaka Hamasaki faces Miyuu Yamamoto.

Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. TBA
Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
Takanori Gomi vs. Koji Tanaka - special standing bout
Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu
Yuki Motoya vs. Naoki Inoue
Ren Hiramoto vs. Kyohei Hagiwara
Sudario Tsuyoshi vs. Minowaman
Ulka Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa
Mikuru Asakura vs. Satoshi Yamasu
Kleber Koike vs. Kyle Aguon
Kazuma Kuramoto vs. Taiyo Nakahara
Nadaka Yoshinari vs. Phetmalai Phetjaroenvit - kickboxing