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McKee vs. Freire, inaugural flyweight title fight

By |Published On: May 27, 2023|Comments Off on McKee vs. Freire, inaugural flyweight title fight|

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Bellator is returning to Japan this summer for a second co-promoted event with Rizin to continue its world lightweight grand prix and crown and inaugural men’s flyweight champion.

Bellator X Rizin 2 takes place July 30 at Saitama Super Arena, and the main event will see a lightweight grand prix quarterfinal bout between former featherweight champion AJ McKee (20-1 MMA, 20-1 BMMA) and former lightweight champion Patricky Freire (24-11 MMA, 15-9 BMMA).

In the co-feature, Bellator opens the doors to a new men’s flyweight division as former Bellator and Rizin champion Kyoji Horiguichi (31-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) takes on Makoto Takahashi (16-1-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). The winner will become the inaugural Bellator men’s flyweight champion.

Bellator announced the event and the featured bouts in a press release Saturday morning.

While the first cross-promoted event which took place on New Year’s Eve featured head-to-head bouts between Bellator and Rizin fighters, the second iteration departs from that format. However, the unique event will see Bellator bouts taking place inside a cage whereas Rizin bouts will take place in a ring. The Bellator fighters will wear red and blue Bellator gloves, while the world grand prix competitors will wear white gloves.

Also announced is a women’s flyweight bout between Kana Watanabe and Veta Artega. Bellator fighters Juan Archuleta and Tofiq Musayev will also be in action during the Rizin portion of the card.

The Bellator X Rizin 2 event’s lineup includes:

  • AJ McKee vs. Patricky Freire – lightweight grand prix quarterfinal bout
  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto Takahashi – inaugural flyweight title bout
  • Kana Watanabe vs. Veta Artega

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