ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at
MMA fan, BJJ enthusiast, and Executive Publisher at Creators Media.
Ryan Matsunaga

At a press conference earlier today, Rizin officials announced that Shane Carwin has signed with the promotion and will debut in December as part of their Openweight Grand Prix.

Similar to Wanderlei Silva's situation, Carwin has received a bye for the first round of the tournament, allowing him to advance directly to the quarterfinals. No opponent has been named yet.

Carwin had previously confirmed that he was joining the Rizin roster earlier this week, although interestingly, he claimed he had been matched up with Fedor Emelianenko. There has not yet been any announcement of Emelianenko's participation in the tournament, although the legendary fighter did compete under the Rizin banner once before in December 2015.

No match-up has been announced yet for Carwin. Instead, Rizin is asking for fans to vote for what the pairings should be for the second tournament round. As of now, only Wanderlei Silva vs. Mirko Cro Cop has been locked in.

The tournament will mark Shane Carwin's first bout in over five years. After amassing a 12-0 record in professional MMA, including winning the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship, Carwin suffered back to back losses against Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. Following those defeats, ongoing injuries led to his decision to retire from the sport. He will now attempt to mount a comeback, having been released from his former contract with the UFC.

The Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016: 2nd Round will take place on December 29, broadcast live from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. It will be followed by a final round just two days later on New Year's Eve.


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