The Rizin Fighting Federation (RIZIN) announced that it will resume operations in August. During a press conference, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced RIZIN 22 and RIZIN 23 will take place on August 9 and 10 from the Minatomirai Pia Arena in Yokohama, Japan and it seems like they will allow fans.
All sports were put on hold in March due to the COVID 19 global pandemic and while MMA has been affected, many promotions have resumed, closed to fans. In Japan, audiences have been allowed to some events in a limited capacity, but for Sakakibara and MMA in Japan, the presentation and competition mean nothing without fans in the arena.
Sakakibara said, “The thing I can say, especially about the RIZIN space is that everyone in the audience creates RIZIN.” He added, “Without an audience, RIZIN would not be RIZIN. Players without an audience,We can’t play games and create things that are real, exciting, or moving.”
Fans of MMA, especially fans of the Pride Fighting Championship (Pride FC) era know that the way Sakakibara and his team put on an event can make for great matches, and the experience would be enjoyable for fans missing the crowds during the fights.
“I look forward to seeing everyone’s smiles at Pia Arena in August.”RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara
As far as specifics on the matches, those details will come at a later date. However, he did say that due to travel restrictions, those competing will likely be from Japan. “We will do our best to face the challenges that come for these two days,” Sakakibara said.
MMA has been moving forward, mostly with the UFC holding events but as restrictions are lifted it seems MMA, was paused for the shortest amount of time and has been trailblazing ahead in sports returning.
What do you think of RIZIN coming back?