Rizin FF officials announced that Muhammed “King MO” Lawal will now meet Brett McDermott in the upcoming Grand Prix, set for later this month.
Also, rules for the special Akebono-Bob Sapp fight were announced, as it will take place under Shoot Boxing rules.
Check out the complete press release below:
RIZIN FF officials announced today that the highly anticipated rematch between Akebono and Bob Sapp will be contested under Shoot Boxing rules on Thursday, Dec. 31, and that BAMMA fighter Brett McDermott has been named the new opponent for “King Mo” Lawal in the eight-man heavyweight Grand Prix elimination tournament, following the withdrawal of BAMMA champion Mark Godbeer last week due to injury.
In K-1 rules action, it was announced that Hiroya Kawabe will face striking phenom Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura on Tuesday, Dec. 29, and Takeru Segawa will square off with Chinese Muay Thai champion Yang Ming on December 31.
Shoot Boxing founder and CEO, Cezar Takeshi joined RIZIN FF Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara, General Manager Nobuhiko Takada, Sapp, Akebono, Segawa, and producer Kensaku Maeda at a press conference in Tokyo to make the announcements.
“I have been seeking advice about what rules the highly anticipated rematch should be held under, and Mr. Cezar introduced me to the idea where both fighters will be able to maximize their potential,” said Sakakibara.
“The new K-1,” continued Sakakibara, “has become popular in such a rapid rate, and I am happy that they are going to be sending their top, young talent to our ring. We would like to match both K-1 representatives up with tough opponents.”
Sakakibara also mentioned that Nam Jin Jo has injured his knee during training and was forced to withdraw, so Felipe Efrain from Shoot Boxe Academy will be facing Yuki Motoya.
Sakakibara closed his announcement by describing the details of the three-day, free-of-charge fight expo, which will begin on December 29, and include amateur MMA bouts and an open grappling tournament.
The rematch between Akebono and Sapp and the bout between Segawa and Ming join matchups between Yuichiro Nagashima and Andy Souwer, and Asen Yamamoto and Kron Gracie on December 31st.