RISE has been bringing in foreign competition for a while with frequency and will look to do it once again on October 25th, bringing in former It’s Showtime 61kg champ and Liverkick #3 ranked Lightweight Javier Hernandez to take on their promotional Lightweight champion Yuki. Hernandez (25-5-0, 11 KO) gained notoriety last June when he defeated Karim Bennoui in a fight of the year candidate to take the It’s Showtime title. Most recently, Hernandez made it three straight unsuccessful defenses of the It’s Showtime 61kg title, losing the title to Masahiro Yamamoto back in July. Yuki (31-14-1, 23 KO) took part in both K-1 -63kg tournaments, but lost in the quarterfinals both times to eventual finalists. He won the inaugural RISE Lightweight title in a 4-man tournament with wins over Naoki and Koji Yoshimoto at the end of 2010 and has defended it once with an improbable comeback against Yuto Watanabe. Most recently, Yuki dropped a decision to RISE Korea Welterweight champ Lee Sun Hyun at RISE 88. This fight has a good chance for some real fireworks as both fighters have shown they can hand out just as much punishment as they can take. Hernandez should be the favorite here and have a noticeable speed advantage, but Yuki definitely has the power in both his punches and low kicks to pull off the upset. I wouldn’t be surprised if both fighters score knockdowns in this fight.
In a matchup for the recently vacated RISE Heavyweight title, #1 ranked Kengo Shimizu will rematch #2 ranked Raoumaru. Their first fight took place at RISE 88 with Shimizu scoring a 1st round KO, however that fight took place at 90kg. This fight taking place at heavyweight should help Roaumaru, but I expect a similar outcome for this fight. Shimizu (13-2-0, 12 KO) has won 6 and a row and was likely expecting a matchup with former RISE Heavyweight champ and one of the two losses on his record Makoto Uehara, but Uehara vacated, likely due to his participation and presumed future participation in K-1 and Shimizu was robbed of that opportunity and finds himself facing Raoumaru again. Raoumaru is 2-1 on the year with a win in RISE and one at Big Bang 10 and the loss to Shimizu.
In a fight to decide the aforementioned Yuki’s next title challenger, RISE Korea Welterweight champion Lee Sun Hyun will take on #1 ranked Hiroshi Mizumachi. For Lee, this is his fourth fight in the main branch of RISE and will be his second not against a promotional champion. At RISE 85, he lost a close decision to Super Lightweight champ Koji Yoshimoto after failing to make weight, then won a decision against Yuki. Most recently, he scored a TKO of Yuto Watanabe, who had just fought Yuki for the title. Mizumachi lost a superfight to Super Lightweight champion Koji Yoshimoto back at RISE 83 and a fight in Shootboxing at last year’s Shoot the Shooto, but is 1-0 this year with a win over Naoki at RISE 88. I like Lee to take the win here.
In a fight to decide the next challenger to Koji Yoshimoto’s Super Lightweight title, #1 ranked Yukihiro Komiya will take on #3 ranked Yasuomi Soda. Komiya (29-10-0, 6 KO) was the RISE 70kg champion until last year when he lost it to Takafumi Morita. After a loss to Yuji Nashiro to start 2012, Komiya dropped to 65kg where he has gone 2-0, defeating Yusuke Sugawara in RISE and picking up a win at Bing Bang 10 earlier this month. Soda (12-1-0, 4 KO) was the most recent challenger to Yoshimoto’s title, losing by decision and losing his undefeated record. He bounced back from that loss with a stoppage of Korean fighter Kim Dong Soo at RISE 87.
An important 55kg fight takes place at this event as well, with #2 ranked Dyki taking on MA Kick champion and #3 ranked Takashi Ohno. The winner of this fight will likely take on #1 ranked Ryuma Tobe for the recently vacated title, as former champion KENJI has moved to boxing. This fight is important because KENJI’s departure and Ryuya Kusakabe’s recent loss have blown open a hole in the 55kg division underneath now undisputed divisional kingpin Shota Takiya. The winner of this fight will help distance himself in a muddled, unclear Super Bantamweight division. Ohno has won 7 in a row since the start of 2011, winning his MA Kick title at the beginning of the year against Takuma Ito. He had his first fight in RISE at RISE 89 in July, beating then-undefeated DEEP*KICK 55kg champ Seiya Rokukawa. Dyki made it to the finals of the RISE 55kg tournament, but was stopped in the 1st round by KENJI. He lost his next fight after that to Ryuma Tobe, but has gone 2-0 since with wins over Hiroaki Mizuhara and Ariaki Okada.
Finally, at 63kg, #3 ranked Yuto Watanabe takes on Shootboxing #1 ranked Lightweight Yuji Sugawara. Watanabe challenged Yuki for the RISE Lightweight title back at RISE 87 and after two rounds, looked like he was en route to a stoppage or at least to an easy decision, however Yuki came on strong in the late stages of the fight and was able to drop Watanabe multiple times to get the come from behind decision win. Watanabe’s only fight since then was a stoppage loss to Lee Sun Hyun at RISE 89. Sugawara fought Hiroaki Suzuki for the vacant Shootboxing Lightweight title, but lost that fight and is 2-1 since.
RISE 90 will also feature the finals of the Featherweight tournament between Ittao and Ryo Pegasus.