RIZIN’s first card of 2022 is starting to shape up for Feb. 23 in Shizuoka, Japan.
The company announced that former Shooto champion and UFC veteran Ulka Sasaki will take on ex-KSW titleholder Kleber Koike in a featherweight main event, which takes place at the 10,000-seat Ecopa Arena.
The lineup also includes Kenji Kato vs. Kazuma Kuramoto and Suguru Nii vs. Sora Yamamoto. The fights will be held in a cage instead of the traditional ring.
Koike (28-5-1) is 3-0 under the RIZIN banner with a trio of submissions. In his most recent appearance, the Brazilian stopped Mikuru Asakura with a triangle choke. Sasaki (23-9-2) fought the likes of Alexandre Pantoja and Jussier Formiga in the UFC, and defeated Manel Kape in one of his five RIZIN bouts.
Kato (13-7) is on a two-fight winning streak with both victories coming by way of stoppage, while Kuramoto (8-2) aims to rebound from a decision defeat to Alan Yoshihiro Yamaniha in his promotional debut.
Nii (12-11) and Yamamoto (12-6-2) came up short in their first appearance inside the RIZIN ring, with Nii losing via submission to Daisuke Nakamura and Yamamoto dropping a decision to Chihiro Suzuki.