New Sakakibara promotion named Rizin Fighting Federation, Emelianenko’s NYE opponent not yet announced

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Fedor Emelianenko

A press conference was held early Thursday in Japan to officially announce the new promotion from former Pride boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The new promotion will be called Rizin Fighting Federation, and though there was a report this week stating that Fedor Emelianenko would be fighting Jaideep Singh on the Dec. 31 event, no official opponent was announced on Thursday.

Rizin FF will kick off with a three-day, two-event run at the Saitama Super Arena dubbed the Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2015. Fights will take place on Dec. 29 and Dec. 31, with Emelianenko’s debut coming on the Dec. 31 card. A previously reported fight between Kazushi Sakuraba and Shinya Aoki headlines the Dec. 29 event. Two female competitors, Gabi Garcia and Rena Kubota, were also announced for separate, to-be-determined matchups.

Both broadcasts will air via tape delay in the U.S. on Spike, with Bellator’s announce team of Sean Grande and Jimmy Smith handling the call. Bouts will take place in a ring under the rules formerly used in Pride, and the new organization is partnering up with the KSW, Jungle Fight, BAMMA, and King of Kings promotions in addition to Bellator MMA.

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