Add RIZIN Fighting Federation to the list of MMA promotions forced to pull the plug on fight cards amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
RIZIN 22 was expected to go down April 19 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, but the promotion decided to cancel the show amid the outbreak, RIZIN founder president Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced Thursday.
The promotion had not announced a single bout for the event, but a lightweight showdown between former ONE champion Kotetsu Boku and Mikuru Asakura was expected to go down that night.
幻に終わったRIZIN.22のポスタービジュアルです。本当に残念です。我々RIZINスタッフ一同は、この苦難の時期にただ耐えるのでは無く、終息した後にパワーアップして皆さんをお迎えする為の準備期間にしたいと思います！“真夏の格闘技の祭典”を共に創造し、必ず実現させましょう！ pic.twitter.com/VrHQkY9vLQ— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 2, 2020
The last show promoted by RIZIN Fighting Federation took place Feb. 22 in Hamamatsu, with Asakura knocking out Daniel Salas in the main event.
As of Wednesday, Japan had recorded 2,384 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and 57 deaths.