Rizin FF 21 sees promotional debut of UFC vets Masanori Kanehara, Naoki Inoue

Japan’s Rizin FF kicks off its 2020 schedule on Feb. 22, and a few UFC veterans will be making their promotional debut.

Promotional officials recently announced that Rizin FF 21 takes place on that date at Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Japan. Seven MMA bouts have been added to the lineup thus far, including three-time UFC veteran and former Sengoku featherweight champion Masanori Kanehara (27-13-5), who takes on Victor Henry, as well as two-time UFC vet Naoki Inoue (12-2), who meets fellow bantamweight Trent Girdham (12-3).

“I’m honored to be fighting in the stacked Rizin bantamweight division,” Inoue stated. “I’ve cornered my teammate Ulka Sasaki’s fights a few times, and I have been wanting to fight on such a great platform in front of many fans, so I am very excited that this is finally happening. I think this is this is my opportunity to show the Japanese fans what I am capable of doing.

“Trent Girdham is a confident striker, but I will be able to take him on at every aspect of the fight, so I would like to finish him and make a statement.”

In the Rizin FF 21 main event, Mikuru Asakura (12-1) returns quickly from a New Year’s Eve win over John Teixeira to take on “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2” cast member Daniel Salas (16-6-1).

“I know I can put on an entertaining fight regardless of my opponent, so I ask that everybody to come to Hamamatsu to watch the fights live and experience the fights,” Asakura stated. “I’ve seen a few minutes of my opponents’ fights, and I think he is very tough.”

The Rizin FF 21 MMA lineup includes: