The partnership between mixed martial arts promotions RIZIN Fighting Federation and Bellator MMA continues to strengthen.
Rena Kubota (8-2), coming from Japan, will cross the globe to meet New York’s Lindsey VanZandt (5-1) at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) May 23, 2019
The pairing will be contested at a catchweight of 112-pounds.
VanZandt made her Bellator MMA debut at Bellator 215 where she defeated Tabatha Ann Watkins with strikes in the second round. She won her first three professional outings before dropped a hard-fought unanimous decision to Kelly D’Angelo at Invicta FC 31 last year. “Damsel” VanZandt bounced back with a King of the Cage victory over Melissa Karagianis, followed by the win over Watkins.
Rena Kubota, a shoot boxing specialist, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Samantha Jean-Francois at RIZIN 15 in April. She won the 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup tournaments. Kubota fought in the Rizin Fighting Federation inaugural event on New Year’s Eve 2015, and won via Flying Armbar submission in the second round.
Last year Bellator star Darrion Caldwell competed against RIZIN’s Kyogi Horiguchi for the inaugural Rizin bantamweight title. The two men will meet again on the June 14 card in New York with Caldwell’s title on the line.
Current Bellator 222 fight card:
Light Heavyweight – Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Welterweight – Rory MacDonald (c) vs. Neiman Gracie
Bantamweight – Darrion Caldwell (c) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Catchweight (175 lbs.) – Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
Featherweight – Aaron Pico vs. Adam Borics
Women’s Flyweight – Heather Hardy vs. Taylor Turner
Middleweight – Phil Hawes vs. Michael Wilcox
Welterweight – Robson Gracie vs. Oscar Vera
Bantamweight – Ricky Bandejas vs.Patrick Mix
Bantamweight – Mike Kimbel vs. Sebastian Ruiz
Flyweight – Brandon Polcare vs. Brandon Medina
Featherweight – John Beneduce vs. Kenny Rivera
Catchweight (165 lbs.) – Kastriot Xhema vs. Whitney Francois
Catchweight (112 lbs.) – Rena Kubota vs. Lindsey VanZandt