On Saturday night, Dec. 28, 2019, Bellator MMA makes its organizational debut in Japan for Bellator 237. The event takes place at the world famous Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and will be headlined by a heavyweight battle between legends of the sport, as Fedor Emelianenko takes on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Bellator 237 takes place in collaboration with RIZIN FF.
Kicking off the main card is a lightweight contest between Bellator’s Goiti Yamauchi taking on RIZIN’s Daron Cruickshank. Yamauchi will look to make it three straight wins after picking up victories over Daniel Weichel and Saad Awad. The lone defeat in the 28-year-old Yamauchi’s last six appearances came via unanimous decision to former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler. Yamauchi missed weight for the bout by nearly two pounds, coming in at 157.8 pounds and will be fined 20 percent of his purse.
Cruickshank is the lone American fighter carrying the RIZIN banner in the matchups against Bellator MMA. The UFC veteran makes his 35th professional appearance against Yamauchi and looks to snap a two-fight losing streak. In his most recent appearance, “Detroit Superstar” lost a unanimous decision to Tofiq Musaev at June’s RIZIN 16 event.
Here is how the lightweight battle between Bellator’s Goiti Yamauchi and RIZIN’s Daron Cruickshank went down at Bellator 237, including round-by-round scoring. For full results of the event, you can check them out right here.
Bryan Miner the third man in the cage as the first fight of the night has begun. Yamauchi lands a body kick early. Cruickshank comes up short with a left hand before both fighters throw body kicks at one another. Cruickshank eats a couple of kicks before landing a sidekick to the body. Spinning back elbow attempt from Cruickshank leads to Yamauchi taking his back against the fence. Yamauchi puts a hook in as Cruickshank tries to defend. Yamauchi pushes off the fence and gets to fight to the mat. Yamauchi working for a rear naked choke and he has it locked in. Cruickshank is forced to tap out as he nearly goes out cold.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 29, 2019
Official result: Goiti Yamauchi def. Daron Cruickshank via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 3:11
Mike Heck is the a freelance MMA journalist covering the sport for a number of websites. Specializing in video interviews, Mike interviews everybody from prospects, to title contenders, to world champions, along with other influential personalities in the sport of MMA. Subscribe to his channel at https://youtube.com/mikeheckmma.