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RIZIN announces fights for first card of 2023 on April 1, including Kouzi vs. Ryusei Ashizawa, Makoto Shinryu vs. Daichi Kitakata

Makoto Shinryu
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIZIN is primed to kick off a new year.

On Wednesday, the Japanese promotion announced several fights for its first card of 2023, including the returns of K-1 standout Kouzi and 22-year-old flyweight prospect Makoto Shinryu. RIZIN 41 is set to take place April 1 in Osaka, Japan.

Kouzi is set to fight fellow kickboxer Ryusei Ashizawa, who makes his RIZIN debut. The rules of the bout are still to be determined. Kouzi made headlines in 2022, going viral with a knockout of Floyd Mayweather Jr. bodyguard Ray “Jizzy Mack” Sadeghi at a Super Rizin event this past September. He stayed in the spotlight by competing in an exhibition bout against J’Hon Ingram on the Mayweather vs. Deji card in Dubai.

Shinryu (15-1-1) faces a stiff test as he steps into the ring against Daichi Kitakata (20-11-1, 2 NC). In two previous RIZIN appearances, Shinryu scored a decision victory over Hideo Tokoro and a second-round submission of Seiichiro Ito. He has also competed for Bellator, DEEP, and Pancrase. In his most recent outing this past November, Shinryu captured a vacant Cage Fury Fighting Championships with a fourth-round submission of Diego Paiva.

See more announced bouts for RIZIN 41 here.

Vugar Karamov vs. Yoshinori Horie

Kintaro vs. Koichi Ishizuka

Yusaku Nakamura vs. Mehman Mamedov

Shun vs. Motoki — kickboxing

Shingeki no Yuuki vs. Sota “Cerberus” Kimura — kickboxing

Asataro vs. Shin Sakurai — kickboxing

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