Two-promotion champion Juntaro Ushiku set to defend RIZIN title against Kleber Koike


Juntaro Ushiku will return to the RIZIN ring to defend his featherweight title against Kleber Koike in the main event of RIZIN 39 in Fukuoka, Japan, on Oct. 21. The company officially announced the full lineup during a press conference on Thursday.

Ushiku (22-8-1), the 145-pound titleholder in RIZIN and DEEP, won a decision over Yutaka Saito in his most recent bout in April to defend his throne against the same man he beat to win the title back in 2021. Ushiku beat Kouya Kanda to remain the DEEP champion in between those bouts.

Koike (30-5-1) won five straight since joining RIZIN in 2020 by forcing every single one of his opponents to tap to chokes, including Mikuru Asakura and Ulka Sasaki. The former KSW champion has only lost one of his past 13 bouts, dropping a decision to rising UFC sensation Mateusz Gamrot in 2018.

“It’s been a year since I won this belt,” Ushiku said at the press conference. “And getting such a tough opponent like Kleber on this anniversary means a lot for me. I will promise you an exciting fight that will please you. I have a solid game plan and I’m confident in my abilities to defend the belt against a great challenger.”

“I am finally getting the fight I deserve and I will win,” Koike said. “I appreciate your support. Ushiku is a good champ but I’m not worried. He’s only fought twice in RIZIN and against lower skilled opponents. I have fought much better opponents.”

The card will be headlined by a heavyweight contest between former sumo wrestler Tsuyoshi Sudario and undefeated Janos Csukas. Check the complete RIZIN 39 card below.

Juntaro Ushiku vs. Kleber Koike
Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Janos Csukas
Daichi Abe vs. Hibiki Tamura
Shinji Sasaki vs. Sho Patrick Usami
Koji Takeda vs. Zach Zane
Yusuke Yachi vs. Boido Allen
Takahiro Ashida vs. Hirotaka Nakada
Vugar Karamov vs. Yoshiki Nakahara
Motonobu Tezuka vs Mehman Mamedov
Genji Umeno vs. Trent Girdham — kickboxing
Reito Bravely vs. Koichiro Seki — kickboxing
Shogo Kuriaki vs. Kakeru — kickboxing