Mikuru Asakura and Juntaro Ushiku to Face Off in Featherweight Battle at Rizin Landmark Vol. 5

March 13, 2023
From: Spartacus

The main event of Rizin Landmark Vol. 5 will be a featherweight battle between Mikuru Asakura and former champion Juntaro Ushiku.

At a news conference, the promotion just recently made the event official. Yutaka Saito and Ren Hiramoto’s 145-pound fight is promoted by the Japanese organisation as the second main event of Rizin Landmark Vol. 5, which takes place on April 29 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

The booking of Archuleta (27-4) follows his participation in Rizin FF 40, Rizin’s New Year’s Eve event, which marked his Japanese premiere in December. Bellator and Rizin’s competitors squared off on the card.

As he did at the cross-promotion between Bellator MMA and RIZIN on New Year’s Eve, “The Spaniard” confirmed the booking, which will see him continue to promote Bellator.

In reaction to the information, Archuleta posted on social media, “Your boy got contracted to go handle some overseas business in the land of the rising Sun! I can’t wait this will continue my legacy to have won a title in every organization I fought for!”

During the promotion’s bantamweight Grand Prix in 2022, Archuleta (27-4) went 2-1, dropping a match for the interim championship to Raufeon Stots before coming back to defeat Enrique Barzola and Soo Chul Kim. On New Year’s Eve, Bellator MMA defeated RIZIN 5-0 in a head-to-head competition at the Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo, where Kim earned a split decision victory.

Archuleta received a note of support from Scott Coker, CEO of Bellator, who said, “Wishing you good luck on your journey to win the RIZIN belt in 2023. Train hard and make Bellator MMA proud!”

Asakura, who didn’t take part in any competition in 2022, has triumphed in three of his previous four outings under the Rizin banner. Most recently, on December 31, at Rizin 33, he defeated Yutaka Saito. On New Year’s Eve, Inoue (18-3) additionally made an appearance on the RIZIN 40 section of the programme, where he submitted Kenta Takizawa to win. He had advanced to the featherweight grand prix final of RIZIN’s promotion the year before but had lost to Hiromasa Ougikubo.

The following matches were added to the card as scheduled matches: Lightweight Koji Takeda vs. Luiz Gustavo; bantamweight Kazuma Kuramoto vs. Shinobu Ota; featherweight Masanori Kanehara vs. Sora Yamamoto; heavyweight Tsuyoshi Kamiyama vs. Roque Martinez; lightweight Johnny Case vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov; and super atomweight Kanna Asakura vs. Mei Yamaguchi.

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