Former K-1 Champions Clash As Rukiya Anpo Makes MMA Debut Against Yuta Kubo, Plus Ya-Man Takes on Ren Hiramoto

Dec 12, 2023
Rukiya Anpo lands a middle kick. Photo: THE MATCH 2022
A lot of familiar faces for kickboxing fans have been booked for RIZIN 45.

Six kickboxers will hit the big stage in RIZIN's last big show of the year on December 31 – unfortunately, only two of them will compete under kickboxing rules.

Former K-1 fighter Ren Hiramoto will be facing off against the exciting RISE's YA-MAN in MMA at 66 KG while K-1 veteran and former champion Yuta Kubo will be filling in for Minoru Kimura to fight Rukiya Anpo in a special rules MMA bout at 70 KG. The kickboxing bout will be between Krush Champion Tatsuki Shinotsuka and Daichi Tomizawa at 66 KG.


After Kimura failed his drug test, Anpo was left without an opponent for the RIZIN New Year's Eve card. Eventually, negotiations were made for him to face off against Yuta Kubo in a special rules MMA match that will involve two 5-minute rounds of RIZIN rules MMA. Despite showing his disdain for the sport of MMA through various tweets, he took the fight and has been preparing with fellow K-1 alumni, Ren Hiramoto.

Kubo on the other hand is currently 2-1 in MMA after his very successful kickboxing career. Anpo and Kubo have held the same K-1 Welterweight title belt, yet never crossed paths in the ring.

The other MMA bout which will be held under normal RIZIN MMA rules between two of the biggest personalities on the Japanese combat sports scene, YA-MAN and Ren Hiramoto. 


YA-MAN is coming off a KO win against Mikuru Asakura in a RIZIN kickboxing bout last month. He has only had one MMA fight – a win against Kota Miura. Ren on the other hand has a total of 5 fights with a record of 2 wins and 3 losses. He comes in off a decision loss against Yukata Saito at Rizin Landmark 5 in April. 

With both fighters being former kickboxers, big personalities, and avid trash talkers, this should make for an exciting match.

Lastly we have a kickboxing bout between Krush champion Tatsuki Shinotsuka and Daichi Tomizawa. 


Shinotsuka just won the Krush Featherweight title against Riku Morisaka and will be looking to continue his three fight win streak. Along with his kickboxing experience, he has had 4 professional boxing fights, only losing once. His opponent will be Daichi Tomizawa has only had three fights under the Krush, but has recently made waves in popular promotion Breaking Down.

RIZIN 45 is available as a PPV on FITE TV.