RIZIN 45 official with Kyoji Horiguchi, John Dodson, Juan Archuelta and more

RIZIN 45 is officially on the calendar, and it features a handful of names notable to American viewers.

The event takes place Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, the promotion announced at a news conference Thursday. Atop the billing will be two title fights.

An inaugural RIZIN flyweight title has been implemented as former Bellator bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi (31-5) battles Makoto Shinryu (16-1-1). Additionally, RIZIN bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta (29-4) looks to defend his title vs. Japanese star Kai Asakura (20-4).

Also on the card, former UFC title challenger and current BKFC flyweight champion John Dodson (24-13) takes on Hiromasa Ougikubo (25-8-2).

With Bellator’s future uncertain, Horiguchi makes another appearance for RIZIN, a promotion for which he previously carried a bantamweight title. It’s the first fight for Horiguchi since an inaugural Bellator flyweight title fight in July that ended in a no contest after he was accidentally poked in the eye by Shinryu. The Dec. 31 fight will be a rematch, though this time for RIZIN gold.

After years of asking for crossover fights in RIZIN, Bellator product Archuleta got that in December when he defeated Soo Chul Kim at Bellator x RIZIN 1. Archuleta returned to RIZIN in May when he defeated Naoki Inoue. In July, Archuleta captured RIZIN gold when he defeated the then-champion Ougikubo. His opponent, Asakura is one of the biggest combat sports stars in the region, with wins over Horiguchi, Ougikubo, and others.

Dodson makes his second RIZIN appearance as he continues to jump back and forth over from BKFC. Thus far in RIZIN, Dodson is 2-0 with wins over Hideo Tokoro and Tatsuki Saomoto.

The current RIZIN 45 lineup includes:

  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo

  • Juan Arhculeta vs. Kai Asakura

  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto Shinryu

  • Kleber Koike vs. Yutaka Saito

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie