Japan New Years MMA is back in a BIG WAY with RIZIN FF 40 Bellator MMA Vs Rizin FF a true cross promotional bout taking place in Japan New Years Eve Dec. 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The fights will take place inside of the Rizin FF ring and feature the Rizin rules which includes soccer kicks to a downed opponent.
The fight card will feature Rizin FF Champion Roberto De Souza a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist taking on the Featherweight Bellator Grand Prix Tournament Champion AJ McKee at a Lightweight Bout. Souza is 14-1 while Mckee is 19-1 with his only defeat being a controversial decision loss to Pitbull in a rematch. Mckee has proven himself as a striker, grappler, and wrestler and has faced a higher level of competition during his career and will be expected to be the favorite.
Recent Featherweight Rizin Champion Kleber Kokke Erbst will face Patricio Freire the man who became double champion of Bellator MMA at 145 and 155lbs and the only fighter to have a win over A.J. Mckee. After an impressive performance in Oct at Bellator Long Beach Pitbull and Mckee will again be competing, however this time as teammates of team Bellator MMA.
Juan Archuleta will stay at the Bantamweight division and face off against South Korean Soo Chul Kim who has only been defeated once in his past 11 fights. Arhculeta the former KOTC BW, FW, LW Champion has only been finished once in his career with over 30 professional fights on his resume and only 4 defeats.
Moving down to the flyweight division again Hiromasa Ougikubo will face Kyoto Horiguchi after a loss at Bantamweight to Sao chul Kim at Rizin 38 by decision. Horiguchi suffered a pair of defeats in Bellator MMA to Patrick Mix and Sergio Pettis however prior to that owns wins over Kai Asakura by KO, UFC Champion Contender Ian Mcall, Manel Cape, Hideo Tokoro, Ali Bagautinov, and Darrion Caldwell.
— Cris Cyborg 1-0 boxer (@criscyborg) October 24, 2022
With only 4 bouts named, a 5th matchup between Bellator MMA and Rizin FF is yet to be announced, prompting Cyborg to tweet about Chute Boxe making a return to Japan. Fans of Pride FC remember the success of Chute Boxe fighters like Wanderlia Silva, Pele Landi, Ninjua Rua, Shogun, Anderson Silva, in Japan. Bellator MMA Champion posted a picture of King Reina under the tweet. Reina Miura owns a victory over Cris Cyborg’s friend and training partner Crystal Stokes in a bout at 155lbs back in 2017 in the Rizin FF promotion by Unanimous Decision. With a professional record of 13-5 King Reina is still only 26 years of age her only losses have came against DEEP Champion Yoko Higashi, UFC contender Stephanie Egger, PFL Vet Kaitlin Young, and UFC Veteran Cindy Dandois via controversial split decision. Other possible candidates for a Cyborg bout in Japan could include; Yoko Higashi, Cat Zingano, or even a Japan MMA legend like Rin Nakai who fought Miesha Tate in the UFC and has now won 9 consecurtive fights.