Bellator and Rizin Co-Promotion set for New Year’s Eve in Japan

Bellator President Scott Coker has come to terms with the Rizin Fighting Federation to Co-promote what will be one of the most surprising fight cards in MMA history. Mandatoryphotocredit:Fightersonlymagazine.

New Year’s Eve

A Co-Promotion or “Merging” of MMA organizations is something that fans have been very excited about for many years. This excitement would always be met with skepticism however, due to the fact that major United States promotions such as the UFC do not entertain the idea of their fighters competing in other leagues or organizations. Bellator president Scott Coker changed all of that this week with the surprise announcement that four of Bellator’s top ranked fighters will be going to Japan to compete against one of the most respected organizations in the world The Rizin Fighting Federation. These fighters include current 145-pound champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (34-5), top Japanese fighter in the world Kyoji Horiguchi (30-5) and highly ranked prospect AJ Mckee (19-1). This monumental event will take place on New Year’s Eve in Satiama, Japan.

Setting the stage

This week on the “Weighing in Podcast” (Youtube, Spotify, Itunes). Bellator color commentator and former longtime MMA official “Big” John Mccarthy said ” This is the best thing to happen to MMA in the last five years”. This is high praise coming from someone who has been around Mixed Martial Arts for 25+ years. Longtime fans and former fighters from the sport know how much is at stake on New Year’s Eve in Japan. Mccarthy’s Co-host Josh Thomson stated that, ” This brings back memories of the PRIDE days”. Of course, referencing one of the greatest promotions in the history of MMA the now defunct Pride fighting championships (1997-2007) which was also ran by current Rizin President Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The UFC purchased Pride in 2007 for $70,000,000. Since this purchase it has been a long road back to the American spotlight for Japanese MMA.

Bellator vs Rizin

Bellator president Scott Coker is taking a massive gamble sending his top talent to Japan. His company is the second largest MMA promotion in the United States and is currently airing on Showtime. This is a massive platform that many organizations cannot compete with, especially foreign based promotions. Giving this opportunity to the Rizin Fighting Federation could impact Bellator negatively if one of their champions or top fighters where to lose. Rizin is desperately wanting to reach an American audience and regain global popularity within the martial arts world back to Japan. Although if successful this could play out very well for Coker and Bellator tapping into a market in Japan that could be profitable and bring new viewers. The four-fight main will be held at the legendary Satiama Super Arena (36,000 seats). The full main card includes:

  • AJ Mckee (19-1) vs Roberto Satoshi Souza (14-1)
  • Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (34-5) vs Kleber Koike (31-5)
  • Juan Archuleta (26-4) vs Soo Chul Kim (18-6)
  • Kyoji Horiguchi (30-5) vs Hiromasa Ougikubo (25-6)

For the latest sports news via Fantom Sports Industries. Follow us on twitter via @Fantom_sports. Like us on Facebook via Fantom Sports Industries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel via Fantom Sports. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Shop Fantom Sports Industries Merch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

NBA Free Agents
The riskiest NBA Free Agents of this upcoming class of 2023 are […]
Raul Ibanez
The Seattle Mariners will host the 2023 MLB All-Star game and all […]
Dillon Brooks LeBron James
After a shocking four-game sweep in the Western Conference Finals, LeBron James’ […]
Tanner Houck
Tanner Houck has had an overall good season as starting pitcher for […]
Glen Kuiper
The Oakland Athletics fired broadcaster, Glen Kuiper, Monday following the use of […]

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: