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Rizin signs UFC vet Cruickshank, 'Huggy Bear' for April event

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Rizin Fighting Federation announced a series of new matches during its latest press conference.

Japanese upstart promotion Rizin Fighting Federation is set to host its third event on April 17 in Nagoya City. On Thursday morning, the organization took part in a press conference to announce a series of match-ups to bolster the line-up, as well as some intriguing signings.

The first announcement was the signing of UFC veteran Daron Cruickshank, who is expected to debut at the April 17 show. According to, Cruickshank is scheduled to meet Shinji Sasaki in a lightweight bout.

Cruickshank was released from the UFC following his third consecutive loss with the promotion. He will come up against an opponent who is on a four-fight win streak.

The other notable signing is super heavyweight Chris Barnett, who will meet Fedor Emelianenko's teammate and five-time Combat Sambo champion Kirill Sidelnikov. 'Huggy Bear' was on an eight-fight win streak dating back to 2010 before he was beaten by Oli Thompson during the Inoki Genome Fight 4 tournament. He returned to the win column a few months later on New Year's Eve with a TKO win against Shinichi Suzukawa. Sidelnikov, better known as 'Baby Fedor,' debuted for Rizin during the New Year's Eve show and stormed through Carlos Toyota in the opening round. It was his first fight in over five years.

The updated fight card is available below:

Wanderlei/TBD vs. Sakuraba/Tokoro
Kirill Sidelnikov vs. Chris Barnett
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Jiri Prochazka
Vadim Nemkov vs. Karl Albrektsson
Gabi Garcia vs. Anna Malyukova
Jaideep Singh vs. Teodoras Aukstuolis
Hisaki Kato vs. Yuta Watanabe
Allan Nascimento vs. Yuki Motoya