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Tofiq Musayev vs. Roberto Satoshi set for inaugural lightweight belt at RIZIN 28

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Tofiq Musayev is the RIZIN lightweight champion.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIZIN lightweight grand prix winner Tofiq Musayev will finally re-enter the RIZIN ring on June 13 for RIZIN 28 in Tokyo.

RIZIN announced during a press conference on Tuesday that Musayev will face Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Roberto Satoshi for the inaugural 155-pound gold. Yutaka Saito, the company’s featherweight champion, faces Vugar Karamov in a non-title affair in the co-main event.

The promotion has also revealed a rule change on Tuesday. From now on, fighters are allowed to use elbows strikes to the face on any angle on the ground, including 12-to-6.

Musayev (18-3) won the lightweight tournament in December 2019 against Damien Brown, Johnny Case and Patricky Pitbull, but was sidelined due to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and then unable to enter Japan due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Satoshi (11-1), who lost to Johnny Case in the lightweight tournament back in 2019, earned a shot at the gold with back-to-back first-round finishes over Yusuke Yachi and Kazuki Tokudome.

Saito (19-4-2) became the RIZIN featherweight champion with a win over Mikuru Asakura this past November. The former Shooto lightweight titleholder is 2-0 under the RIZIN banner, while Karamov (15-3) looks to extend his winning streak to 12 after a successful RIZIN debut in February 2020, when he earned a decision over Kyle Aguon.

RIZIN has also announced a heavyweight showdown between Shoma Shibisai and Tsuyoshi Sudario, and Satoshi Yamasu vs. Noah Bey at 165 pounds. Company president Nobuyuki Sakakibara indicated he wants to add kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa to the card, but no mention of an opponent as of right now.

Check the updated lineup below.

Tofiq Musayev vs. Roberto Satoshi
Yutaka Saito vs. Vugar Karamov
Kai Asakura vs. Shooto Watanabe [bantamweight GP opening round]
Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. Takeshi Kasugai [bantamweight GP opening round]
Naoki Inoue vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari [bantamweight GP opening round]
Yuki Motoya vs. Ryo Okada [bantamweight GP opening round]
Mikuru Asakura vs. Kleber Koike
Shoma Shibisai vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario
Satoshi Yamasu vs. Noah Bey