In a shocking announcement, the Rizin FF fight promotion out of Japan announced that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be competing on their New Year’s Eve card in Japan. Mayweather will fight Tenshin Nasukawa. Nasukawa is a kickboxer by trade, compiling a 27-0 record in Japan. He also posesses a 4-0 mixed martial arts record, with all of his MMA fights being with Rizin over the last two years.
There are more questions than answers at this point regarding the details of this fight. What we do know is the fight will take place on Dec. 31 from Saitama Super Arena. After that, everything is up in the air. This bout will most likely not be contested under traditional MMA or kickboxing rules. During a press conference to announce the fight Sunday, Rizin President Nobuyuki Sakakibara said (transcribed by MMA Junkie) “As far as the rule set and the weight and the rules, we still have some work cut out for us.”
Whatever the rules end up being, Mayweather told the press conference that he is taking this bout, and Nasukawa seriously.
“I think that he’s young, very strong, very fast, and he’s undefeated,” Mayweather said. “It’s obvious he’s doing something right to be where he’s at. So I’m proud of him.”
Mayweather last fought in Aug. 2017 in a boxing bout with UFC’s Conor McGregor. Mayweather won the bout via 10th round TKO and went back into retirement with a 50-0 professional boxing record.
Talk began last month of a fight between Mayweather and UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov initiated the challenge and there was some back and forth through the media but UFC President Dana White said the bout would only happen if it was an MMA bout in UFC – effectively killing any potential for such a matchup to happen.
Broadcast plans for North America have not been officially announced, but Rizin events typically are available for purchase through the Fite TV app.