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Rizin FF 39 announced for October, featuring featherweight champ Juntaro Ushiku vs. Kleber Koike Erbst

With Rizin's dual events set for this weekend, promotion reveals Oct. 23 event in Fukuoka.
juntaro-ushiku

The order of matches for The Battle Cats presents Super Rizin and Shonan Beauty Clinic presents Rizin FF 38, which will be held at Saitama Super Arena on Sunday, September 25, has been decided,

In the first part of The Battle Cats presents Super Rizin, Kota Miura (1-0) returns to Rzin in the opening match, and the main event will be the highest profile bout, Floyd Mayweather vs. Mikuru Asakura in an exhibition boxing match.

After the first part, Tenshin Nasukawa serves as MC for "Super halftime show in Rizin" and the second part, Shonan Beauty Clinic presents Rizin FF 38 begins, starting with a striker showdown between Juri Ohara (31-17-3) and Luiz Gustavo (11-2), Kyoji Horiguchi (29-5) vs. Yuto "Kintaro" Hokamura (14-11-2) will be the main event!

The following bouts have been announced for Rizin FF 39 in October for Rizin's event at Marine Messe Fukuoka:

Juntaro Ushiku vs. Kleber Koike Erbst

Reigning RIZIN and DEEP Featherweight Champion Juntaro Ushiku (22-8-1) is 10-1 in his last 11 bouts dating back to November 2018, avenging his sole loss against current contender Daisuke Nakamura. He won the DEEP title from Satoshi Yamasu at DEEP 97 after a 3-0 stretch in the promotion, and captured the Rizin title at Rizin FF 31 last October after catching Yutaka Saito with a well-timed knee that caused a cut which led to the stoppage. He would make one defense of his DEEP featherweight title two months later, and had a repeat victory over Saito in a closely contested battle at Rizin FF 35 last April.

After rattling off five straight submission victories inside the Rizin ring, Kleber Koike Erbst (30-5-1) finally realizes his goal in Rizin's ever growing featherweight division, with his 12-1 record in his last 13 bouts solidifying his title challenge. The former KSW featherweight champion faces a surging Ushiku, who shockingly defeated Saito to become Rizin's second-ever featherweight champion. 

It will prove to be an interesting matchup, with 26 of Koike's 30 wins coming by submission, and despite Ushiku's strong judo skills, he is yet to score a victory by submission. Ushiku's recent form has seen him produce a damaging and steady top game, and Kleber has found himself on the bottom quite often. Both fighters' standup games have progressed in recent years. How the fight reaches the ground could play into both of their games.

Koji Takeda vs. Zach Zane

Koji Takeda (14-3) will be making his 8th appearance under Japan's premier banner. With a hat trick of wins over newly promoted DEEP Lightweight champion Juri Ohara and a win over fellow domestic champion in Pancrase's Takasuke Kume at Rizin FF 27, the 26-year-old is firmly at the top of the division. He scored his first finish in Rizin at Rizin FF 33 against Noah Bey with a second-round armbar. Despite coming up short in his bout at Rizin FF 35 against Spike Carlyle, his gutsy win against Johnny Case put him right back into the mix, and now he welcomes another international fighter to Rizin's lightweight division.

Zach Zane (15-13) is the former X1 welterweight champion and COGA lightweight championship, and was previously set to face Tofiq Musayev at Bellator 278 in Hawaii. Having competed in many promotions and weight classes, he scored a win in his promotional debut at Bellator 236 in December 2019. His record at lightweight is 5-2 with four stoppages – all by submission. Having earned his contract at Rizin's first ever open tryouts, he brings his experience and hunger to the ring against his toughest opponent yet.

Motonobu Tezuka vs. Mehman Mamedov

Motonobu Tezuka (34-14) is the recently crowned two-time Grachan bantamweight champion, scoring a 52-second armbar victory over Kuya Ito at Grachan 52 last December to reclaim the belt seven years after he first won it. He previously challenged for the title in September 2018, losing a split decision against Tomohiko Hori at Grachan 36. He is the former HEAT bantamweight champion, besting Kazuma Sone via second-round armbar in 2014 at HEAT 33, before losing his title to Takeshi "Kanten" Kasugai at HEAT 37 in March 2016. He has also challenged for the Gladiator featherweight title. The two-fight UFC veteran Tezuka is enjoying the best form of his career, currently 10-2-1 in his last 13 bouts and came into Rizin winning his last six – the joint-longest win streak of his career. Despite losing his debut against former foe Alan Yamaniha at Rizin FF 34 in March, he has his sights set on his first promotional victory against the Azerbaijani newcomer.

Mehman Mamedov (5-5) is the Eagle FC flyweight champion, having captured the title in his last bout in March of this year. The Azerbaijani champion had a spotted start to his career, trading wins and losses until his last two bouts, where he was able to put together a two-fight win streak. Can he continue the legacy that his fellow compatriots have enjoyed under Japan's premier banner?

Vugar Karamov (17-4) vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (16-5)

Musayev's stablemate Vugar Karamov (17-4) is a true well-rounded finisher. He has won six bouts by knockout and seven bouts by submission. After losing a controversial split decision to former champion Yutaka Saito, the competitiveness of the bout elevated the Azerbaijani fighter's profile in the division. He was able to return to the Rizin ring twice thus far in 2022, with a lightning quick submission over Pancrase interim bantamweight champion Taichi Nakajima at Rizin FF 35 and a veteran-like showing against Sora Yamamoto at Rizin FF 37 two months ago. With just one loss in the last eight years and a 13-1 record in that time, Karamov remains a top contender in Rizin's ever-growing featherweight division.

Former Gladiator featherweight champion Yoshiki Nakahara (16-5) is 11-1 in his last 12 bouts, and notably defeated former DEEP featherweight champion Hiroto Uesako in his pro debut back in November 2012. With nine finishes and seven by knockout (four in the first round), Nakahara could prove to be one of the most dangerous opponents Karamov has faced at this point in his career. Nakahara won his Rizin debut against former ZST featherweight champion Tetsuya Seki on short notice after his initial bout against Yuta "Ulka" Sasaki fell through. With a win here, Nakahara could announce himself to the rest of the division as a legitimate contender.

Daichi Abe vs. Yukinara 'Hibiki' Tamura 

Daichi Abe (11-5) is the former Pancrase welterweight champion and reigning DEEP interim welterweight champion. The three-fight UFC veteran was riding a three-fight win streak coming into Rizin, having captured his current title against Rizin veteran Gota Yamashita at DEEP 100 in February 2021, but lost his Rizin debut against Akira Okada at Rizin FF 31 at lightweight. After moving up back to welterweight, Abe scored a win over "Strasser" Kiichi Kunimoto at Rizin FF 34 and a spectacular knockout victory over Marcos Souza at Rizin FF 37. With a win against Tamura, he would go 3-0 in Rizin’s welterweight division, and perhaps clamor for a divisional title to be introduced.

Yukinara "Hibiki" Tamura (16-13-9) is the Shooto welterweight champion, having earned the belt with a second-round KO in his last bout six months ago at Shooto Torao 27, avenging his loss to Soki Toyama in the process after losing a split decision nearly three years prior. The 18-year veteran has faced much of Japan’s top talent across his 38 bouts, and now at 41 years of age will compete on the biggest stage of his career.

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Super Rizin doors are expected to open at 10:30 a.m. JST local time, with a 12 p.m. start time. Rizin FF 38 will have a 3 p.m. JST start time on September 25 at the Saitama Super Arena. There will be a one-hour intermission between the two events.