Bellator MMA and Rizin have collaborated to organize an event to remember in MMA history. Five highly esteemed fighters from each promotion will face each other to pull off the most anticipated fights. But no titles will be on the line for the main event.
The main event will take place on New Year's Eve December 31st, 2022, at Saitama Super Arena just outside Tokyo, Japan. The contests on the main card will adhere to the regulations of the Rizin promotion. The main card is headlined by a lightweight bout between A.J. McKee and Roberto "Satoshi" de Souza and in co-main event featherweight bout between Patricio Pitbull and Kleber Koike is set to happen.
Unlike most of the MMA promotions where knees and kicks to the head are illegal when the fighter is grounded but Rizin doesn’t rule out the dangerous strikes. When Patricio Freire was asked about his opinion and counter strategy regarding the concerned rule of Rizin promotion, it doesn’t bother the Bellator featherweight champion. Due to his prior competition in Brazil, Freire is habituated to the Vale Tudo, or "everything goes," culture.
“In my debut, I was training in those rules, so I’m very used to kick some heads on the ground,” Freire said during the Rizin 40 pre-fight press conference. “I’ve been fighting in MMA from when I was a little kid and in Brazil of course there’s Vale Tudo which is similar to the Rizin rules, so I’m used to those too.”
Since Koike will be entering with a staggering 27 submission victories in his history, Freire didn't give adequate information about his course of action, but "Pitbull" anticipates that he would attempt to take Koike down and submit him.
“He’s a jiu-jitsu guy and he’s gonna try every time to put me on the ground and finish me,” Freire said. “So maybe we will see I finish him.”