TOKYO – Rizin FF officials recently held a press conference to announce additional matchups for the Shonan Beauty Clinic presents Rizin FF 40 card at the Saitama Super Arena.
Johnny Case vs. Luiz Gustavo
Johnny Case (27-9-1) returned from his near two-and-a-half year layoff to face the inaugural and defending lightweight champion, Roberto Satoshi Souza, last April, where he was handed his second loss in the promotion. He would return three months later to face Koji Takeda, and despite being the favorite, lost a unanimous decision – encountering the first three-fight losing skid of his 36-fight career. In contrast, Luiz Gustavo's (12-2) 2022 has been an extremely fruitful return from his layoff, scoring back-to-back stoppage wins against Yusuke Yachi and an 83-second knockout against a surging Juri Ohara at Rizin FF 38 in September. A collision course between two of Rizin's finest international talents at 155 pounds.
Noah Bey vs. Patrick Usami
RISE kickboxing champion Noah Bey (1-2) has had two exhilarating performances in Rizin FF thus far, dropping a decision in his MMA debut against former DEEP featherweight champion Satoshi Yamasu at Rizin FF 28 due to a red card, and stopping former GRACHAN welterweight champion Daryl Lokoku at Rizin FF 32 in Okinawa. In both bouts, he showcased his takedown defense and striking abilities from different positions. A step up in competition saw him come up short against a former DEEP Lightweight Champion Koji Takeda in just his third bout last New Year's Eve. Twelve months later, he takes on fellow striker Patrick Usami (5-1), who is coming off of an impressive stoppage victory of his own. Usami, who stopped former domestic champion Shinji Sasaki in the third round, wants to bring another flashy striking performance in his sophomore Rizin FF appearance.
Hideo Tokoro vs John Dodson (22-13, 0-0 RIZIN FF) 61kg MMA
The 68-fight-veteran Hideo Tokoro (35-31-2) gets one of his toughest challenges yet when he takes on John Dodson (22-13). Twenty-one wins by submission will be plenty of experience to lean into if the fight hits the mat for Tokoro, but Dodson is obviously his most skilled opponent thus far. "The Ultimate Fighter" season 14 bantamweight season winner, and a former two-time UFC flyweight title challenger, Dodson's knockout power has carried him to the pinnacle of the sport. Being ever-so tough to finish, Dodson has never lost a bout by stoppage. Expect a dynamic fight full of quick scrambles.
With the additions, the Rizin FF 40 lineup now includes:
- Roberto Satoshi Souza vs. A.J. McKee
- Kleber Koike vs. Patricio "Pitbull" Freire
- Soo Chul Kim vs. Juan Archuleta
- Hiromasa Ougikubo vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
- Koji Takeda vs. Gadzi Rabadanov
- Seika Izawa vs. Si Woo Park
- Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Junior Tafa
- Johnny Case vs. Luiz Gustavo
- Noah Bey vs. Patrick Usami
- Naoki Inoue vs. Kenta Takizawa
- Yuki Motoya vs. Rogerio Bontorin
- Hideo Tokoro vs. John Dodson