Rizin is throwing one heck of a New Year’s Eve party.
Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will head to Japan to fight Rizin champ Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin at on Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena, the two promotions announced Thursday morning. The bout will be for the Rizin 135-pound title.
Caldwell (13-1) had won four in a row for Bellator and established himself as one of the top fighters in the world at the lower weight classes. The former NCAA wrestling champion beat Noad Lahat most recently in a 145-pound fight by second-round knockout in August. Caldwell, 30, has held the Bellator title since defeating Eduardo Dantas in October 2017.
Horiguchi (25-2), a former UFC title challenger at flyweight, has won all seven of his fights since coming to Rizin as a free agent in 2017. The Krazy Bee product has finished all but two of those bouts and was the Rizin 2017 bantamweight grand prix winner. Horiguchi, 28, last fought in September, a unanimous decision kickboxing loss to phenom Tenshin Nasukawa.
Also announced Thursday by Rizin were several new signings, including recent UFC releases Ulka Sasaki and Justin Scoggins. UFC veteran Damien Brown will come to Japan to fight fellow action fighter Daron Cruickshank. Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton will meet Jiri Prochazka.
Of course, in the “main event” Floyd Mayweather will take on Nasukawa in a boxing exhibition match.
Here is the full Rizin 14 lineup announced Thursday:
Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Floyd Mayweather vs. Tenshin Nasukawa
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Kanna Asakura
Ulka Sasaki vs. Manel Kape
Yusuke Yachi vs. Johnny Case
Rena Kubota vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
Yuki Motoya vs. Justin Scoggins
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Erson Yamamoto
Nobumitsu Tyson vs. Tofiq Musayev
Daron Cruickshank vs. Damien Brown
Shinju Nozawa Auclair vs. Justyna Haba
Jiri Prochazka vs. Emanuel Newton