Bellator MMA and RIZIN did not wait long to make the decision to co-promote another event. Today, the announcement came that on July 30 the two will collaborate once again with Bellator bringing the quarter-final of the Lightweight World Grand Prix to Japan and their inaugural flyweight title.
AJ McKee and Patricky Pitbull will face off in the Grand Prix quarter-final in the highly anticipated bout. McKee already has two wins over Patricio Pitbull from when he fought at featherweight, so Patricky is likely looking to avenge his brother with a win in Japan.
A few days before the announcement, MMA Junkie had reported that Bellator MMA would be adding a flyweight division, and the news was confirmed with the announcement of their inaugural flyweight title match between former Bellator and RIZIN bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi and Makoto “Shinryu” Takahashi who is on a 10-fight win streak and has won titles at CFFC and DEEP.
When asked about the decision to bring the quarter-final lightweight bout to Japan, Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker said at the press conference in Japan, “We could have brought this fight anywhere in the world. We thought about doing it in Los Angeles, we thought about doing it in New York, but as Sakakibara and I continue our dialogue, we thought this is the perfect fight for Japan. The Horiguchi fight is perfect for Japan.”
The last time Bellator and RIZIN collaborated they did so under RIZIN MMA rules but since the title bouts announced are for Bellator, those contests will be contested under the unified rules of MMA and in the Bellator cage. RIZIN bouts will be in their ring and their rules according to a press release from Bellator.
Also on the Bellator portion of the card is a women’s flyweight bout between Kana Watanabe and Veta Arteaga.
Juan Archuleta who fell in love with Japan during the New Year’s Eve event competes under RIZIN’s rules against Kai Asakura.
Broadcast information on how to watch will be announced at a later date so keep it locked with MyMMANews for updates.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 30 years of martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, and also writes for Spectation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel