top of page

History in the Making: McKee and Freire Gear Up for an Intense Showdown at Bellator X Rizin 2

Bellator is set to make its return to Japan this summer, partnering once again with Rizin for an exciting collaborative event. The primary focus of this spectacle will be the continuation of the world lightweight grand prix, where a new champion will be crowned in the men's flyweight division.

Scheduled for July 30, the Bellator X Rizin 2 event will be held at the renowned Saitama Super Arena. The highly anticipated main event will feature a quarterfinal bout in the lightweight grand prix, pitting former featherweight champion AJ McKee (20-1 MMA, 20-1 BMMA) against former lightweight champion Patricky Freire (24-11 MMA, 15-9 BMMA).

In a significant development, Bellator will also introduce a fresh men's flyweight division during this event. The co-feature will showcase an encounter between the former Bellator and Rizin champion Kyoji Horiguichi (31-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) and Makoto Takahashi (16-1-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). The victor of this bout will claim the inaugural Bellator men's flyweight championship.

The announcement of this exciting event, along with the notable matchups, was made public through a press release issued by Bellator on Saturday morning.

While the previous cross-promoted event on New Year's Eve featured direct clashes between Bellator and Rizin fighters, this second edition will deviate from that format. However, what makes this event truly unique is the distinction in the competition's environment. Bellator fights will be held inside a cage, while Rizin fights will take place in a ring. As a visual distinction, Bellator fighters will don red and blue gloves, whereas the participants in the world grand prix will wear white gloves.

Additionally, a compelling women's flyweight bout has been announced, featuring Kana Watanabe and Veta Artega. Fans can also look forward to Bellator fighters Juan Archuleta and Tofiq Musayev showcasing their skills during the Rizin portion of the card.

The lineup for the Bellator X Rizin 2 event is as follows:

  • AJ McKee vs. Patricky Freire – lightweight grand prix quarterfinal bout

  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Makoto Takahashi – inaugural flyweight title bout

  • Kana Watanabe vs. Veta Artega


bottom of page