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RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara Champions Collaboration Amidst MMA Promotional Shifts

The landscape of MMA promotions is in a state of flux, marked by the recent acquisition of Bellator by the PFL. This shift has sparked discussions about the future of co-promotions and alliances within the industry, and RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara stands at the forefront of this dialogue, discussing potential collaborations and the evolving dynamics in the Japanese fight scene.

RIZIN, known for its grand spectacles and collaborative efforts with Bellator in the past, especially during events such as the New Year's Eve extravaganzas that saw fighters from both promotions clash on Japanese soil, faces uncertainty with Bellator's transition under new ownership. Sakakibara highlighted the pivotal role of established relationships, emphasizing the need for promoters to unite in advancing the sport.

"The relationship that we've had with Scott Coker…this goes way back," Sakakibara stated, underscoring the foundation that enabled successful co-promotions. "When two promoters get together and start thinking about what the best move is for the future of our sport, we can make these things happen."

The prospect of continued collaboration between RIZIN and Bellator's new leadership under Donn Davis hinges on shared ideologies and mutual visions for MMA. Sakakibara elucidated the significance of aligning philosophies and objectives to recreate past joint ventures successfully.

Acknowledging the changing landscape, Sakakibara expressed openness to collaborating with promoters who share RIZIN's vision, stating, "Our doors are always open," while welcoming healthy competition in the market, including ONE Championship's foray into Japan and expressing interest in potential UFC events in the country.

Sakakibara's emphasis on diverse promotions entering Japan as a boon rather than a threat highlights RIZIN's commitment to providing Japanese fight enthusiasts with a variety of combat sports offerings. He envisions a future where multiple promotions coexist, enriching the local fight scene and providing fans with diverse experiences.


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