Home MMA NewsLatest News Kleber Koike hopes Anderson Silva joins RIZIN for retirement fight: ‘It would be an honor’

Kleber Koike hopes Anderson Silva joins RIZIN for retirement fight: ‘It would be an honor’

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Kleber Koike, the RIZIN featherweight fighter, is extending an invitation to Anderson Silva, the former UFC middleweight champion, to consider joining RIZIN for his retirement fight in Japan.

Silva recently mentioned his ongoing discussions with a Japanese promotion for his final MMA clash, prompting Koike, who is set to headline RIZIN 43 event in Sapporo, Japan against Chihiro Suzuki, to express his belief that Japan would be the ideal place for “The Spider” to conclude his career.

Koike stated, “Having him fight with us here would be an incredible honor. Anderson Silva is a true legend of the sport, and I have great admiration for him. Seeing him finish his career in Japan would bring me immense joy. RIZIN is making a strong comeback and is placing a high value on legends. Just this week, Alistair Overeem visited RIZIN’s office. So, imagine having Anderson Silva here as well. It would be amazing to witness his farewell fight here.”

While Silva has not revealed the specific Japanese promotion he’s in talks with, Koike firmly believes that RIZIN is the best organization in Japan for Silva to pursue his final fight. Notably, RIZIN’s head, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, was previously involved with PRIDE.

“As the biggest MMA organization in Japan, RIZIN would be the perfect fit,” Koike emphasized. “If it happens, I think it will most likely take place by the end of the year during the big cards, such as the New Year’s Eve shows. Having Anderson here with us, becoming a part of our team, would be a tremendous honor.”

Koike is making his return to the RIZIN ring this weekend following his loss to Bellator king Patricio Pitbull in a non-title clash last December. Despite being stripped of his 145-pound title after missing weight for the event, Koike remains determined to fight. When it comes to facing a kickboxing expert like Suzuki, Koike does not shy away from his strategy.

“To illustrate, everyone knew that Marcelo Garcia would take your back and end the fight, yet no one could stop him. He executed it brilliantly,” Koike explained. “Similar to Khabib Nurmagomedov, everybody was aware that he would take you down, but nobody managed to prevent it. People are aware that jiu-jitsu is my greatest weapon. They know I’ll take them down and look for the submission. I’ve been working on improving my striking as well, having completed my camp in Thailand for the ninth time. However, I cannot neglect my jiu-jitsu. That’s my strategy—I cannot take risks while standing.”

Prior to his defeat against Pitbull, Koike had won all six of his RIZIN bouts by submission. Suzuki, on the other hand, earned his title shot by winning five consecutive fights in the organization.

“While one shouldn’t underestimate Suzuki, who is a kickboxing champion and deserving of recognition, he has yet to face someone at my level in MMA,” Koike asserted. “Some of his opponents were decent, but most of them were strikers who ended up on the losing side when they engaged with him. The only formidable opponents he faced were Masakazu Imanari, a former champion in Japan who is now in his 40s and fought at 135 pounds, and Yoshiki Nakahara.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about retirement fight

Q: What is Kleber Koike’s invitation to Anderson Silva for a retirement fight in Japan?

A: Kleber Koike, a RIZIN featherweight fighter, is extending an invitation to Anderson Silva to join RIZIN for his farewell bout in Japan as a way to honor the legendary fighter.

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