In the main event of Rizin 42, two of the best bantamweights in Rizin will square off, and a scattering of international talent will further spice up a packed schedule for Tokyo. Following fight announcements shared by the promotion on social media, Rizin 42, which will take place at the Tokyo Ariake Arena on Saturday, May 6, is expected to feature a number of well-known athletes in action.

Kai Asakura, a former Rizin champion, and Yuki Motoya, a former DEEP champion, will square off in the main event’s bantamweight division. Both fighters are vying for the vacant bantamweight title.

Following his defeat to Hiromasa Ougikubo in the Rizin 2021 Bantamweight Grand Prix final, Asakura will be making his comeback to the ring. Asakura’s scheduled to return in July 2022 was canceled due to an injury, but the 29-year-old is now fully healthy and prepared to make a comeback.

He’ll do it against Motoya, who is coming into the fight with a fantastic run of form. He has won five of his previous six fights and 10 of his last 12 matches. At Rizin 40 on New Year’s Eve, he most recently defeated Rogerio Bontorin by knockout in the second round. A victory over previous champion Asakura would highlight his credentials as a champion and put him in line to compete for the open belt.

Juan Archuleta, a former Bellator bantamweight champion, will face Naoki Inoue in the co-main event. When he competed and prevailed for Team Bellator at the Bellator vs. Rizin event in Saitama on New Year’s Eve 2022, Archuleta made no bones about how much he loved and admired the Japanese MMA culture. As he faces top-tier competition, “The Spaniard” has now been given the opportunity to battle only for the Rizin team for the first time.

Inoue, who has won seven of his past eight races and five of those victories inside the distance, will be a difficult opponent for Archuleta to face in his debut. Inoue recently defeated Kenta Takizawa at Rizin 40 after submitting the opponent with a straight armbar.

Also, the lightweight champion of Rizin, Roberto Satoshi Souza, will make his comeback on the fight program in Tokyo and compete against American Spike Carlyle in a non-title bout.

Carlyle, often known as “The Alpha Ginger,” lost his final match for Bellator against former featherweight champion AJ McKee in October 2022. He will now bring his all-action fighting style to the Rizin ring to take on submission expert Souza, who while losing to McKee by unanimous decision at Bellator vs. Rizin is still riding a five-fight winning streak in matches held under the Rizin promotional umbrella.

Flyweight champion John Dodson, who will face Tatsuki Saomoto, is also scheduled for action later in the card. Dodson won his Rizin debut with a first-round knockout victory over Hideo Tokoro, followed by two first-round knockout victories for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

Dodson will return to the Rizin ring in Tokyo to take on Saomoto, who is currently riding an incredible 14-fight win streak and has never been knocked out in 20 professional fights. This means that Dodson has triumphed in each of his last four competitive fights.

As things stand, there won’t be any titles at Rizin 42.