Bellator 238: Budd vs. Cyborg Full Coverage

Bellator’s first event of 2020 was a big one, welcoming former UFC Champion Cris Cyborg to the promotion with a championship fight. Facing Julia Budd in the main event, Cyborg got the fight for the Bellator Featherweight Championship. The card also saw many other Bellator debuts, returning prospects and the continuation of the Featherweight Grand Prix.

Quick Results

Bout 1: Miguel Jacob def. David Pacheco via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Anthony Taylor def. Chris Avila via Decision, Majority

Bout 3: Curtis Millender def. Moses Murrietta via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 4: Jay-Jay Wilson def. Mario Navarro via Submission, Armbar (RD 2, 2:48)

Bout 5: AJ Agazarm def. Adel Altamimi via Submission, Armbar (RD 3, 1:22)

Bout 6: Aaron Pico def. Daniel Carey via KO, Punch (RD 2, 0:15)

Bout 7: Joshua Jones def. Brandon Bender via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 8: Emilee King def. Ava Knight via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 2:18)

Bout 9: Raymond Daniels def. Jason King via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 3:07)

Bout 10: Sergio Pettis def. Alfred Khashakyan via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 1, 3:00)

Bout 11: Juan Archuleta def. Henry Corrales via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 12: Darrion Caldwell def. Adam Borics via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 2:20) (Bellator Featherweight Grand-Prix Quarter-Finals)

Bout 13: Cris Cyborg def. Julia Budd via TKO, Punches (RD 4, 1:14) (Bellator Featherweight Championship)

Bout 14: Ricardo Seixas def. Dominic Clark via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 0:34)

Bout 15: Tony Bartovich def. Jarett Conner via Decision, Unanimous)

Full Coverage

Bout 1: Miguel Jacob (3-0) vs. David Pacheco (1-0) (Welterweight)

The preliminary card started with someone’s undefeated record being put to an end. David Pacheco fought Miguel Jacob in a welterweight competition. The fight started with quite active striking from both fighters. Jacob was connecting more often. Jacob put the fight in a clinch against the cage in the second minute. They went back to stand-up about a minute later.

An eye poke happened to Jacob early in the second round, causing a pause. When they resumed, Jacob continued to be the more active striker. A cut around Pacheco’s right eye became apparent. Jacob was constantly moving to the side or backwards. While Jacob was benefitting more from the exchanges, both fighters were fighting a very fast pace.

That previously mentioned pace picked up right where it left off when the final round started. The round was practically the same as the two before, going the distance. When heading to the scorecards, it was Miguel Jacob who kept his undefeated record, with a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Jacob 10 10 10 30
Pacheco 9 9 9 27

Bout 2: Anthony Taylor (6-5) vs. Chris Avila (6-8) (Lightweight)

Coming in on a four-fight winning streak, Anthony Taylor returned to Bellator to battle Chris Avila. Taylor countered a kick with a punch early which tripped Avila. Taylor was backpedalling throughout the round but found success as a counter-striker. In the fourth minute of the round, Avila scored a good overhand right. They went in a clinch for a little before going back to striking. Taylor got a single leg takedown before the round ended. After the bell, Avila shoved Taylor off of him with his leg. Taylor clearly was offended by this.

Taylor continued to counter-strike in the second round. He did an interesting thing a few times, finishing a combination by pushing Avila away.

In the second minute of the final round, Taylor tried for another takedown. Avila was able to avoid it, with Avila getting some strikes in from close range. He scored a takedown a minute later. Avila tried for an armbar, getting top position in the process. Taylor escaped the armbar, and they both stood back up. 30 seconds later, Taylor shot for another takedown. They went to the ground, but on the way down Avila started to try for a kimura. They stood back up, where Avila was on Taylor’s back for a moment. Avila then tried for a guillotine as Taylor shot for another takedown. They stood back up with one minute left in the fight. Avila got on Taylor’s back, then switching to a normal clinch before separating. Both fatigued, Taylor and Avila were swinging wildly in the closing seconds. Needing judges to decide who won, it was Anthony Taylor who won through a rare majority decision (28-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Taylor 10 10 9 29
Avila 9 9 10 28

Bout 3: Curtis Millender (17-5) vs. Moses Murrietta (8-3) (Catchweight 180 lbs)

The next preliminary fight saw former UFC fighter Curtis Millender making his Bellator debut against Moses Murrietta. At the very start, Millender looked to try to do a glove touch but was punched. Both fighters were throwing hard and fast strikes right off the bat. Millender’s jab was lightning fast. A combination of punches had Murrietta backing up in the final minute of the first round.

A left hook dropped Murrietta in the first minute of the second round. Millender wasn’t in any rush to finish the fight, slowly walking towards Murrietta as he was recovering. A right cross from Millender 30 seconds later made Murrietta’s legs shake a little. It was clear that Millender had gotten into a groove. Millender got a double leg takedown in the final minute of the round. He tried for a darce choke before the bell went.

Murrietta continued to take shots, mostly jabs, in the final round. His movement implied he had injured his lead left leg. Murrietta shot for a takedown with over two minutes left in the fight, although Millender stayed against the cage and eventually returned to striking. As the fight was nearing it’s end, it felt like Murrietta was the less fatigued fighter. Millender landed a german suplex takedown in the final 20 seconds of the round. The fight went all 15 minutes, going to the scorecards to find a winner. Putting an end to his two-fight losing streak, Curtis Millender got a dominant unanimous decision victory in his Bellator debut (30-27, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Millender 10 10 10 30
Murrietta 9 9 9 27

Bout 4: Jay-Jay Wilson (4-0) vs. Mario Navarro (4-5) (Featherweight)

Still undefeated as a professional, Jay-Jay Wilson was pitted against fellow featherweight Mario Navarro in the next bout. Wilson shot for a takedown in the first minute, putting Navarro up against the cage instead. Wilson threw some good knees in the clinch, getting a trip takedown after a minute. Wilson went wild with ground and pound, throwing dozens of punches. They stood up in the final minute, with Navarro throwing down Wilson and taking top position. Overall a great first round for Wilson.

Wilson threw an overhand right and then scored a takedown to start the second round. Wilson transitioned to Navarro’s back, trying for a twister. Navarro escaped and took the top position in side control. Wilson was able to get on Navarro’s back. He threw some punches before trying for a rear naked choke. He switched to an armbar, which got fully extended, causing the referee to step in and end the fight. After one and a half rounds of one-sided competition, Jay-Jay Wilson extended his record to five in a row.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Wilson 10
Navarro 8

Bout 5: AJ Agazarm (2-1) vs. Adel Altamimi (8-6) (Featherweight)

The next matchup saw AJ Agazarm and Adel Altamimi fight in a featherweight battle. Agazarm shot for a takedown early on, eating two punches after failing to get to the ground. He did not succeed to get the fight to the ground two more times. Altamimi caught a leg kick, throwing a punch and tripping Agazarm. Altamimi landed a loud kick to the body in the second minute. Agazarm tried again for a takedown, failing to get it there. The crowd booed when Agazarm paced around the cage for a moment. Agazarm came in with a combination in the final minute that seemingly shaking Altamimi with one. There was many more takedown attempts throughout the round which did not work for Agazarm. The fighters got in eachother’s faces after the bell

Agazarm got dropped in the second minute of the second round with a left hook. Agazarm was hit with hammerfist punches on the ground and a few hooks on the feet. He shot for a takedown which gave him time to recover. Agazarm finally got a takedown halfway through the round. Altamimi tried for an armbar, but Agazarm escaped. Agazarm tried for his own armbar on the ground. Agazarm tried for a rear naked choke, then went into full mount landing some strikes. Altamimi flipped on his stomach again where Agazarm threatened the rear naked choke. It was put in, although Altamimi slipped out of it. The second round was quite the turn of events, going from a near stoppage in favour of Altamimi to a dominant ground game from Agazarm.

Altamimi got shook by punches at the start of the final round. Altamimi shot for a single leg, maybe what was his first takedown attempt of the fight. Agazarm threw some punches while Altamimi still had ahold of one of his legs. Agazarm was able to look for an armbar, which made Altamimi tap out. Altamimi protested the stoppage despite tapping. After two very back and forth rounds, AJ Agazarm didn’t have to worry about the scorecards by making Adel Altamimi tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Agazarm 9 9
Altamimi 10 10

Bout 6: Aaron Pico (4-3) vs. Daniel Carey (7-3) (Featherweights)

In the next fight, Aaron Pico attempted to end his two-fight losing streak by facing Daniel Carey. Pico got a well-timed double leg takedown a minute into the fight. He threw some elbows from half guard. Pico kept in control on the ground with ground and pound until the final few seconds of the round.

In the opening seconds of the second round, Pico landed a left hook which knocked Carey out cold. Getting back into the winning column, Aaron Pico put on a highlight-reel knockout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pico 10
Carey 9

Bout 7: Brandon Bender (12-1) vs. Joshua Jones (9-5) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

The final preliminary fight was a catchweight fight between Brandon Bender and Joshua Jones. Jones came flying at Bender with a flying knee at the start, although it did not connect. Jones caught a kick and countered with one of his own in the second minute. Bender scored a right hook that made Jones grin. Slipping while coming forward, Bender pulled guard on the ground. Bender got on Jones’ back. A cut below Jones’ left eye started to bleed. Jones started to stand up, although Bender started to squeeze for a rear naked choke. Bender landed on his back on the ground. Jones did ground and pound from top position. Bender almost got a heel hook in as the round ended.

Jones got a double leg takedown in the first minute of the second round. Bender was able to flip over into top position halfway through the round. Bender was quick to flip the position back over. Jones started with ground and pound more in the final minute of the round.

They went into a clinch at the start of the third round. Both fighters were clearly tired in the final round. Bender had some good punches coming forward. Jones got the fight to the ground with just over half the round left. After the fight ended, Jones told the broadcast that wrestling is better than jiu-jitsu. When going to decision, Joshua Jones added his win count to double digits (30-26, 30-27 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bender 10 9 9 28
Jones 9 10 10 29

Bout 8: Ava Knight (1-0) vs. Emilee King (3-3) (Strawweight)

Former boxer Ava Knight had her second pro MMA fight to kick off the main card, fighting Emilee King. Knight opened with hard punches. King brought the fight to the ground, pulling guard. King put in a guillotine choke, which had Knight in trouble quickly. She popped out of the choke, with King trying for an armbar next. That didn’t work either, with Knight taking top position. King was able to get on Knight’s back, slipping in a rear naked choke, flattening Knight out. She kept with the choke until Knight went cold, ending the fight. In her Bellator debut, Emilee King made headlines about her, stopping Ava Knight within one round.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 9: Raymond Daniels (1-1) vs. Jason King (8-5) (Welterweight)

After his wife won in the last fight, Jason King fought kickboxer Raymond Daniels. Daniels landed a side kick to the body at the start which dropped King. He got back up and they continued. They traded knees in the clinch, although a pause came after King was hit in the groin. Daniels landed a two-punch combination in the second minute which dropped King. Daniels waited for King to get back up. He dropped King again, this time right a left hook. King fell again, seeming tired and hurt. King shot for a takedown, trying for a leg lock. Daniels went to ground and pound from top position, landing punches until the referee stepped in. Showcasing his brutal striking skills yet again, Raymond Daniels stopped Jason King in a round.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 10: Sergio Pettis (18-5) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (11-4) (Bantamweight)

Before the next fight, Ryan Bader versus Vadim Nemkov for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship was announced for May 9th at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, USA. The next matchup saw former UFC fighter Sergio Pettis have his first Bellator fight, facing Alfred Khashakyan. Pettis landed a good counter-right in the first minute. Halfway through the round, Pettis landed a punch that dropped Khashakyan. He landed many more punches before putting in a guillotine choke that put Khashakyan out cold. In what could only be described as a brutal debut, Sergio Pettis added another win to his pro record.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 11: Henry Corrales (17-4) vs. Juan Archuleta (23-2) (Featherweights)

After failing to dethrone Patricio Pitbull, Juan Archuleta returns to fight Henry Corrales. The first minute of the fight was somewhat inactive striking. As the round continued on, they both started to throw more punches but nobody connected cleanly with much. The crowd became a little restless near the end of the round. Archuleta shot for the takedown in the final seconds of the first round.

Archuleta was on the outside of the cage for most of the second round, coming in for combinations. Archuleta avoided punches and grabbed Corrales for a takedown with two minutes left. They got back up moments after. Corrales got a takedown in the last 10 seconds of the fight, starting ground and pound but not getting started until the round ended.

Corrales landed a good right hook in the second minute of the final round which clearly hurt Archuleta. He did not get to follow up with much more. The crowd started to boo again with a minute left in the fight. They had a good exchange of punches as the fight ended. Archuleta got on the cage and flipped off the disapproving crowd after the bell. When going to the scorecard, Juan Archuleta got the unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Corrales 10 10 9
Archuleta 9 9 10

Bout 12: Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Adam Borics (14-0) (Featherweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final)

The co-main event of the evening saw a quarter-final fight in the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix between Darrion Caldwell and undefeated Adam Borics. Caldwell got a takedown a minute into the fight. Borics went to the cage and tried to get up. While they were on their knees, Caldwell got on the back of Borics. Caldwell put in a rear naked choke eventually which made Borics tap out quickly. Ending the undefeated record of Borics and advancing to the semi-finals, Darrion Caldwell made quick work of this fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total

Bout 13: Julia Budd (13-2) vs. Cris Cyborg (21-2) (Bellator Featherweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Cris Cyborg made her Bellator debut, challenging for Julia Budd’s Bellator Featherweight Championship. Cyborg landed body punches early on. They went into a clinch in the first minute. Budd had Cyborg against the cage. They separated after Cyborg threw a knee to the head and a punch. Cyborg got a takedown in the second minute, with Budd getting up moments after still in the clinch. Cyborg landed lots of knees to the body in the clinch. They went back to striking with two minutes left. Cyborg slipped while throwing a kick, allowing Budd to take top position on the ground. Budd went into side control after avoiding an armbar. She switched to north-south. Budd was holding Cyborg by the head and landed a knee strike, which made the referee step in as it was a grounded knee. They resumed in stand-up. Cyborg dropped Budd with a punch, then took top position on the ground. Cyborg got some hammerfist strikes in as the round ended.

Cyborg caught a leg and dumped Budd at the start of the second round. Cyborg threw punches to Budd when she got up, then held her against the cage. They switched between stand-up striking and clinch work over and over. Budd landed a good elbow when they went back to stand-up. Budd seemingly was doing better in stand-up in this round. Cyborg scored good knees in the clinch. Budd shot for a takedown in the closing seconds of the round, but did not get it and ate a knee to the head for her troubles.

Just like in the rounds before, they went into a clinch very quickly. They went back to stand-up around halfway through the round. Cyborg got a takedown with two minutes left. Cyborg got up while Budd was still grounded. After avoiding some upkicks, Cyborg got back to the ground in side control. Cyborg got in full mount and did fast ground and pound for the final few seconds of the round.

In the fourth round, Cyborg started to throw strikes like crazy. Mixing together strikes to the head and body, Cyborg dropped Budd to win the fight. After three dominant rounds, Cris Cyborg turned up the intensity in the fourth round to become the new Bellator Featherweight Champion.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Budd 9 9 9
Cyborg 10 10 10

Bout 14: Ricardo Seixas (8-2) vs. Dominic Clark (14-9) (Lightweight)

After the main event, there was two postlim fights. The first of the two was between Ricardo Seixas and Dominic Clark. Seixas landed a front kick which dropped Clark in the first minute. After a few more strikes on the ground, the referee stepped in to end the fight. Ending his two-fight losing streak, Ricardo Seixas stopped Dominic Clark in quick time with a rare front kick.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 15: Tony Bartovich (0-0) vs. Jarett Conner (0-0) (Featherweight)


The final fight of the evening was between debuting fighters Tony Bartovich and Jarett Conner. While Bartovich kept trying for clinches, Conner was throwing more strikes. Conner came in for a clinch, but Bartovich got a takedown from it. They stood back up still in the clinch. When they separated, Bartovich put together a combo of punches that connected. He shot for another takedown, landing it after a little resistance. Bartovich kept on Conner for many minutes. They returned to striking for the final 10 seconds of the fight.

Bartovich shot for a takedown in the first minute of the second round, although Conner stopped it. Upon second attempt, Bartovich was successful. Conner got top position for the final minutes of the round.

The fighters went into a clinch as the final round started. Bartovich got a takedown in the second minute. They got up with under two minutes left in the round still in a clinch. Bartovich threw some strikes in the clinch. Conner left the clinch in the final minute and charged forward with punches. After getting hit by some punches, Bartovich shot for a takedown. Conner took top position on the ground as the fight ran out of time. All three judges were in agreement that Tony Bartovich won, earning his first victory as a pro (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bartovich 10 10 9
Conner 9 9 10

Bellator will return in February, with two events in one weekend, starting on the 21st with Bellator 239 and then Bellator Dublin on February 22nd.

Darrion Caldwell Advances In Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix With First Round Stoppage

Darrion Caldwell advanced to the semi-finals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix on Saturday, making Adam Borics tap out in the first round at Bellator 238 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA.

The win for Caldwell advanced him to 14-3 as a pro, ending the undefeated record of Borics.

Caldwell earned a takedown after a minute of stand-up. He got on Borics’ back and put in a rear naked choke, which made Borics tap out quickly.

With this win, Caldwell will fight AJ McKee in the semi-finals of the tournament. The other side of the bracket is still yet to be determined, with Patricio Pitbull vs. Pedro Carvalho and Daniel Weichel vs. Emmanuel Sanchez set for March 13th.

Caldwell’s last win prior to this fight was over Henry Corrales, going to decision after three rounds. In the fight before that, Caldwell lost to Kyoji Horiguchi, losing his Bellator Bantamweight Championship.

The main event of Bellator 238 was Cris Cyborg challenging Julia Budd for the Bellator Featherweight Championship.



Bellator 238: Budd vs. Cyborg Preview

Bellator will kick off it’s 2020 schedule on Saturday with the promotion debut of Cris Cyborg. Fighting for the first time outside of the UFC since 2016, she will challenge for Julio Budd’s Featherweight Championship in a five-round fight. The stacked card features many returning Bellator names, many other former-UFC fighters debuting and the continuation of the Featherweight Grand Prix. In the promotion’s return to The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA, this is Bellator 238.

Click here to jump to the main card.


Bout 1: Tony Bartovich (0-0) vs. Jarett Conner (0-0) (Featherweight)

The preliminary portion of the card features a matchup between two debuting featherweights. Conner had a 2-4 record in amateur MMA, with Bartovich going 2-1. It’s worth noting that some of the preliminary fights could be bumped to the postlim spot, depending on how they go about scheduling the card.

Bout 2: Miguel Jacob (3-0) vs. David Pacheco (1-0) (Welterweight)

Undefeated welterweights Miguel Jacob and David Pacheco will be put against each other in the next prelim fight. Pacheco’s pro debut was in Bellator nearly a year ago, stopping Jorge Juarez. Jacob will be making his Bellator debut, picking up all three of his previous wins in the regional MMA promotion Fight Club OC.

Bout 3: Anthony Taylor (6-5) vs. Chris Avila (7-8) (Lightweight)

Anthony Taylor will see his return to Bellator this weekend, after fighting elsewhere for seven fights. Taylor made his debut in Bellator, going on a 1-3 run before going to other promotions. All three losses came via rear naked choke, with notable losses over James Gallagher and Adam Borics (who fights later on this card). He has since fought in high-level regionals like BAMMA and Combate Americas, currently riding a four-fight winning streak. His opponent, Chris Avila, will try to break even on his MMA record with this fight. He is 1-1 in Bellator, most recently losing to Brandon Faumui in April.

Bout 4: Brandon Bender (12-1) vs. Joshua Jones (9-5) (Featherweight)

After disappearing from the MMA scene for nearly six years, Brandon Bender will make his return against Joshua Jones on this undercard. Bender has an impressive 12-1 record, with his most recent (if you want to say recent) fight being a win over Mario Navarro at Bellator 116 in 2014, bouncing back from his sole loss. Around the same time, Jones debuted as a pro. He is 2-2 in his Bellator career so far, having two fights outside of the promotion within that timespan.

Bout 5: Curtis Millender (17-5) vs. Moses Murrietta (8-3) (Catchweight 175 lbs.)

Similar to Cris Cyborg’s fight, Curtis Millender will be having his first fight after his UFC run. Millender’s UFC career ended at 3-2, after losing to Belal Muhammad in April. He faces Moses Murrietta, who will also be debuting in Bellator. Murrietta has fought in LFA recently, although his last two fights were losses, including a 24 second stoppage.

Bout 6: AJ Agazarm (2-1) vs. Adel Altamimi (8-6) (Featherweight)

California-based Bellator fighters AJ Agazarm and Adel Altamimi are booked against eachother for the next preliminary matchup. Agazarm has had his short pro career fully in Bellator, going 2-1. Altamimi made his Bellator debut in 2019, defeating Brandon McMahan with an armbar. He recently lost a scorecard battle against Salim Mukhidinov, and will attempt to bounce back from that loss on Saturday.

Bout 7: Aaron Pico (4-3) vs. Daniel Carey (7-3) (Featherweight)

In 2018, Aaron Pico was known as one of Bellator’s biggest rising stars. However, back-to-back losses in 2019 have made people skeptical if Pico was actually worth what he was made out to be. He will be put against Daniel Carey on Saturday, with a loss extending the longest losing streak of his short career. All of Pico’s fights, win or loss, have all ended via stoppage. His last two losses came to Henry Corales and Adam Borics. Carey is 3-2, recently winning over Gaston Bolanos in September with a guillotine choke.

Bout 8: Ricardo Seixas Filho (8-2) vs. Dominic Clark (14-9) (Lightweight)

Also on the preliminary card, Cali fighters Ricardo Seixas Filho and Dominic Clark will battle. Both are coming off of losses, with Clark’s in Bellator against Joshua Jones. Filho’s last two fights were losses in LFA in 2018.

Bout 9: Jay Jay Wilson (4-0) vs. Mario Navarro (4-5) (Featherweight)

Undefeated Bellator fighter Jay Jay Wilson will bring Mario Navarro back to the cage in the next fight. Wilson had an explosive 2019, getting three wins, two of them in Bellator. Navarro has fought in Bellator before, but his last match was over three years ago, being a loss to Chinzo Machida.

Main Card

Bout 10: Ava Knight (1-0) vs. Emilee Gettys (3-3) (Strawweight)

The main card begins with former boxer Ava Knight had a successful MMA debut three months ago, stopping Shannon Goughardy with body strikes on a Bellator card. In her second match, Knight will be paired against Emilee Gettys. Knight has a 19-2-5 record as a professional boxer, with her career spanning from 2007 to 2019. Gettys is on a three-fight winning streak, taking her career from a 0-3 record to an even record. The fight will be the debut of Gettys in Bellator.

Bout 11: Raymond Daniels (1-1) vs. Jason King (8-5) (Welterweight)

Experienced kickboxer Raymond Daniels will return to MMA in a fight with Jason King on the main card. Daniels has 35-3 kickboxing record, fighting in Bellator Kickboxing and GLORY in the past few years. His most recent MMA fight was a knockout of Wilker Barros with a flash right hook which made the rounds online. King is seemingly a good matchup for Daniels, having most of his wins and losses from striking battles. King has fought quite a bit in Valor FC, getting a first-round stoppage over Brian Jackson in November.

Bout 12: Juan Archuleta (23-2) vs. Henry Corrales (17-4) (Featherweight)

The next main card fight sees two eliminated fighters from the featherweight grand prix fight. Juan Archuleta, who lost to Patricio Pitbull, will fight Henry Corrales, who lost to Darrion Caldwell. The loss for Archuleta broke his impressive 18-fight winning streak. Corrales was riding a five-fight streak, not being favoured on the scorecards when fighting Caldwell.

Bout 13: Sergio Pettis (18-5) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (11-4) (Bantamweight)

As part of the trio of debuting former-UFC fighters on this card, Sergio Pettis will fight Alfre Khashakyan. Pettis fought in UFC 14 times, going back to 2013. While not having fought in the UFC in the past, Khashakyan will also be making his Bellator. In 2019, he on three in a row in 2019 in newly formed regional promotion LXF. Khashakyan’s most well-known fight is a loss to Sean O’Malley, on the series premiere episode of Dana White’s Contender Series.

Bout 14: Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Adam Borics (14-0) (Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)

The co-main event of the evening sees Darrion Caldwell and Adam Borics battle in the quarter-finals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. Borics debuted in Bellator in 2017, going 5-0 since then, all via stoppage. He stopped Pat Curran with ground and pound in September to advance through the first round of the tournament. Caldwell’s round-of-16 win over Henry Corrales was his first win in a year, losing twice to Kyoji Horiguchi before. The second of the two losses saw Caldwell lose his Bellator Bantamweight Championship. Caldwell has fought all but three of his pro bouts in Bellator (including a fight in RIZIN which was co-promoted by Bellator).

Bout 15: Julia Budd (13-2) vs. Cris Cyborg (21-2) (Bellator Featherweight Championship)

The main event of the evening will is Cris Cyborg taking a shot at the Bellator Featherweight Championship against the current champion Julia Budd. Cyborg’s last UFC fight was a win over Canadian prospect Felicia Spencer. Before that, she lost her UFC Featherweight Championship to Amanda Nunes in under a minute via strikes. The matchup was one which many argued deserved a rematch, but was not made as Cyborg’s departure from the UFC was one that was not on good terms.

Budd has been the promotion’s featherweight champ since 2017, capturing the belt by defeating Marloes Coenen. Since then she has made three defences, most recently against Olga Rubin. Budd’s two career losses come to the prolific Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey, although those losses were in 2011. Vegas currently has Cyborg as a heavy favourite, sitting at -450 currently. 

Bellator’s next event after this one will be on February 21st, presenting Bellator 239 from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, USA. Headlining the card currently is Ed Rush and Yaroslav Amosov.

Bellator 228: Pitbull vs. Archuleta Full Report

While Bellator held two shows this weekend, Bellator 228 was clearly the bigger event. The show featured first round fights in the stacked Featherweight Grand Prix, and was also headlined by MMA stars Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida in a rematch. Bellator as usual also had a very packed undercard.

Bout 1: James Barnes (11-4) vs. David Duran (8-5) (Catchweight 133 lbs)

The preliminary card started with a catchweight fight between James Barnes and David Duran. The first round was a good one for Barnes, landing good shots and keeping it in stand-up, where he wanted it. Barnes tried for a takedown and secured it with a minute and a half left in the round. Barnes opened the second round with another takedown. In the second minute of the round, Barnes put in a rear naked choke which gave him the victory. Dominant performance throughout for Barnes. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Barnes 9
Duran 10

Bout 2: Joshua Jones (8-4) vs. Dominic Clark (14-8) (Lightweight)

The next fight saw lightweights Joshua Jones and Dominic Clark clash. Clark went for a takedown in the second minute but Jones put in a guillotine. It stayed in for more than a minute, with Jones staying persistent and eventually getting the win from it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 3: Weber Almeida (2-0) vs. Castle Williams (4-2) (Featherweight)

The highly touted Weber Almeida faced Castle Williams in the next fight. Right off the bat in the first round, Almeida got a slam takedown. They stood back up and landed a left hook which dropped Williams. The commentary team likened Almeida to Lyoto Machida. A cut opened above the right eye of Williams. Williams tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. Williams was dropped by a spinning back fist later. Williams showcased a great chin, eating tons of hard shots in the first round. He was dropped again with punches in the final minute. Almeida failed to finish the fight on the ground. Almeida dropped Williams early in the second round to get the W. It was impressive that Williams made it out of the first round. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Almeida 10
Williams 8

Bout 4: Shawn Bunch (9-3) vs. Leandro Higo (18-5) (Bantamweight)

Going down a weight class from the previous bout, the next fight saw the much more experienced pro Leandro Higo face Shawn Bunch. Both fighters had their moments in the first round, showcasing good hands. Bunch tried for a takedown as the round was concluding but couldn’t get it. Bunch’s hard fists continued in the second round. Higo chased a takedown, putting Bunch against the cage for quite some time. After they both got good punches in, Bunch put Higo against the cage. Higo put in a guillotine while standing which made Bunch tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bunch 10
Higo 9

Bout 5: Mike Jasper (13-5) vs. Johnny Cisneros (12-7) (Catchweight 175 lbs)

The next fight was a catchweight bout between Mike Jasper and Johnny “The Tattooed Terror” Cisneros. Cisneros got dropped in the first minute, putting Jasper in top position side control. Jasper stayed on the attack the whole round, staying in a dominant position and throwing strikes. It was clear early in the second round that Jasper had hurt one of his feet. Cisneros tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. They took turns in control up against the cage. Cisneros became aware of the situation, targeting the feet of Jasper. Jasper was dropped by a leg kick and hit with a few more strikes before the referee stepped in. It was hard to watch afterwards as Jasper stayed on the ground in what looked like horrible pain. He stayed for the official result announcement but had to be helped out of the cage afterwards. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Jasper 10
Cisneros 8

Bout 6: Antonio McKee (29-6-2) vs. William Sriyapai (14-8) (Catchweight 167 lbs)

Making his return to MMA, Antonio McKee fought William Sriyapai on the prelims of a card which his son fights on later as well. McKee went into this fight at 49 years old, as Sriyapai was 47. McKee scored a takedown with a minute and a half left in the first round. McKee got a takedown in the second round and took the back of Sriyapai. He threw unanswered punches until the referee stepped in to give him his 30th professional victory.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
McKee 10
Sriyapai 9

Bout 7: Ava Knight (0-0) vs. Shannon Goughary (4-3) (Strawweight)

The next fight was a special one, as 18-2 boxer Ava Knight made her MMA debut against Shannon Goughary. She had a special walkout, being accompanied by O.T. Genasis. The rapper is most known for his 2014 song “Coco.” As expected, Knight was out-boxing Goughary from the start. Goughary went for a takedown in the second minute, but Knight was able to keep it on the feet. Upon second attempt, Goughary was able to get a takedown and top position. While Knight was able to get some ground and pound in, Goughary was the better fighter on the ground. Back on their feet in the second round, Knight was able to get more punches in. Goughary started to show that she was getting hurt by the punches. A right straight dropped Goughary, bringing the fight to the ground. They stood back up, with Knight continuing to show skills in the striking department. Knight dropped Goughary with punches in the first minute, then got up from the ground-game to force the fight back into stand-up. Knight landed a left jab to the mid-section which gave her the victory. In her MMA debut, Ava Knight passed with flying colours against Shannon Goughary.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Knight 9 10
Goughary 10 9

Bout 8: AJ Agazarm (1-1) vs. Jonathan Quiroz (3-3) (Featherweight)

Finishing off the prelims was featherweights AJ Agazarm and Jonathan Quiroz competing. Agazarm got a takedown early in the first round. They got back up a minute later. Quiroz had some good combinations of punches in stand-up. In the second round, Agazarm tried for a rear naked choke on the ground on the back of Quiroz. They got back up with a minute left in the second round. It was easily a much better round for Agazarm. Back in stand-up in the final round, Quiroz was landing some good shots. Agazarm got a takedown and held the position until the final minute of the fight where they went back to stand-up. With 40 seconds left, Agazarm got another takedown, taking the back of Quiroz and trying again for the rear naked choke. When looking to the scorecards, it was AJ Agazarm who got his second Bellator victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Agazarm 9 10 10 29
Quiroz 10 9 9 28

Bout 9: Daniel Weichel (39-11) vs. Saul Rogers (13-2) (Featherweight Grand Prix First Round)

The main card kicked off with the final four fights in the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. The first of four fights was Daniel Weichel and Saul Rogers. This was the 50th professional MMA fight for Weichel. Rogers had some good punch combinations early on. Weichel was able to block a takedown attempt in the second minute. Rogers was winning the round until he was rocked by a punch which made him wobble and go into a defensive mode for the final moments of the round. Rogers had good striking in the second round. Weichel made Rogers fall by tripping him with a leg kick. He got back up quickly and they stayed in stand-up. Weichel did a good job and defending a double leg takedown early in the third round. The final round was easily the best one for Weichel as he quickened his striking output. Before we saw the decision, we were shown Paul George, Mickey Rourke and others sitting in the crowd. All three judges chose Daniel Weichel to move on in the tournament (29-28, 30-27 & 29-28). This was Weichel’s 40th professional win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Weichel 10 9 10 29
Rogers 9 10 9 28

Bout 10: Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Henry Corrales (17-3) (Featherweight Grand Prix First Round)

The second of four Featherweight Grand Prix matches saw former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Darrion Caldwell face Henry Corrales. Caldwell looked to return to winning in this fight after losing twice to Kyoji Horiguchi, once in Bellator and once in RIZIN. Caldwell got a takedown in the second minute of the fight, getting side control. He eventually went into full guard and kept Corrales on the ground until the final 10 seconds of the fight. Corrales was cut open on the head while on the ground. Caldwell chased a takedown for a few minutes but never fully secured it. While Caldwell never got a solid takedown in the second round, he was on offense for the whole round. In the final round, Caldwell was given a warning for not engaging. Caldwell got a takedown in the final minute. Corrales was trying for a guillotine but couldn’t secure it. Caldwell was getting booed afterwards, though he seemingly adopted a heel character, egging on the booing. Via unanimous decision, it was Darrion Caldwell moving on (29-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Caldwell 10 10 10 30
Corrales 9 9 9 27

Bout 11: A.J. McKee (14-0) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1) (Featherweight Grand Prix First Round)

After his father won his respective fight on the prelims, A.J. McKee fought Georgi Karakhanyan in the next Featherweight GP matchup. In the opening seconds, McKee landed and overhand left that dropped Karakhanyan. After a few more ground and pound punches, McKee got the victory and moved on to the second round. On the fence, he shouted “write me my check!” There was some incident in the crowd that caught McKee’s attention before the official result was announced.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 12: Patricio Pitbull (29-4) vs. Juan Archuleta (23-1) (Featherweight Grand Prix First Round)

Before the next fight it was announced that Cris Cyborg would face Julia Budd for the Bellator Featherweight Championship in January. The final Featherweight GP First Round matchup was the Featherweight Champion Patricio Pitbull facing Juan Archuleta. Unlike the other first round matches, this one was a five round fight. A low kick to Pitbull cause a pause in the first round. Archuleta slipped in the first round and found himself in a guillotine. He got out of the guillotine after a few minutes. Pitbull stayed on top position until the end of the round, letting punches go at the end. Archuleta tried for a takedown early in the second round, with Pitbull keeping the fight on the feet. Pitbull was able to flip the position and put Archuleta against the cage in a standing clinch until the round ended. Pitbull dropped Archuleta in the third round, trying for a guillotine on the ground afterwards. A cut opened on Archuleta’s head that was bleeding quite a bit. Pitbull showcased more good striking throughout the round. Pitbull tried for the guillotine again near the end of the round. Pitbull dropped Archuleta again in the fourth round. Archuleta was able to block a takedown near the end of the fourth round. Pitbull ended the fifth round with a takedown. Before the decision, Darrion Caldwell shouted at Pitbull, saying he will fight him any month. Patricio Pitbull’s dominant performance was validated by the scorecards, which read in favour of him (49-46, 50-45 & 49-46).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Pitbull 10 9 10 10 10 49
Archuleta 9 10 8 9 9 45

Before the main event of the evening, Bellator presented a Featherweight World Grand Prix “Selection Show.” The show saw all eight of the second round fighters onstage, drawing their second opponents for the quarter-finals. Fighters were given cards to choose their picking order. Fighters were given four dates to pick their fight (December, January, February and March). After the picking, these were the matchups made:

  1. A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos (December)
  2. Adam Borics vs. Darrion Caldwell (January)
  3. Daniel Weichel vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (February)
  4. Patricio Pitbull vs. Pedro Carvalho (March)

Bout 13: Lyoto Machida (26-8) vs. Gegard Mousasi (45-7-2) (Middleweight)

The main event of the evening was a rematch between Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi. Machida prevailed in their first meeting back in 2014. Mousasi landed a counter-punch right in the second minute of the bout which rocked Machida. Mousasi was consistently the fighter who pushed forward and threw the better punches. The fight went to the ground for the first time in the final two minutes when Machida tripped and fell. Machida tried for a guillotine choke in the final moments of the fight. After fifteen minutes, the fight went to scorecards with Gegard Mousasi earning the split decision victory (29-28 Machida, 29-28 Mousasi & 30-27 Mousasi).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Machida 9 9 9 27
Mousasi 10 10 10 30

Bout 14: Emilio Williams (4-2) vs. Ian Butler (6-6) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

The postlims started with Emilio Williams and Ian Butler. In the first 10 seconds of the fight, Butler got a takedown. Williams got back up halfway through the round. Butler looked for another takedown but when they went down it was Williams taking the back of Butler. With a minute left in the first, the referee stepped in as Butler was kneed in the ground. The fight eventually resumed with both fighters landing hard shots. Butler tried for a single leg takedown but never fully got it. Williams landed lots of shots as the first round was ending. Butler was potentially saved by the bell. Butler got a takedown early in the second round, teeing off with strikes on the ground. After many unanswered strikes the referee eventually stepped in. With a past record of 0-5 in Bellator, Butler finally saw himself get his first promotional win. After the fight ended it looked like Williams injured a knee in the fight. Butler’s victory was announced while Butler was still on the ground.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Williams 10
Butler 9

Bout 15: Andre Walker (5-2) vs. Ozzy Diaz (3-1) (Middleweight)

The next fight saw middleweights Andre Walker and Ozzy Diaz battle. Diaz scored a takedown early on, although Walker was quick to get back up. When getting another takedown, Diaz was able to take the back of Walker and put in a rear naked choke to earn a tap out victory. Diaz moved to 2-0 in Bellator in his early career.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 16: Johnny Santa Maria (3-4) vs. Benji Gomez (8-13) (Catchweight 130 lbs)

The final catchweight bout on the show was Johnny Santa Maria and Benji Gomez facing off. Both fighters went into the bout with a negative record. The first round was a close one as both fighters showcased fast striking. Gomez got a takedown in the final seconds of the first round. Gomez had Santa Maria retreating early in the second round. Santa Maria failed at the rare imanari roll, staying on the ground until the referee forced him up. After Gomez caught a stomach kick, Santa Maria also tried for a rolling thunder kick. Gomez was clearly the better striker. Gomez got the fight to the floor in the final round for a few minutes. When looking at the scorecards, all three judges saw it as a win for Benji Gomez (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Santa Maria 9 9 9 27
Gomez 10 10 10 30

Bout 17: Adrian Najera (1-0) vs. Jason Edwards (2-0) (Bantamweight)

The evening wrapped up with two undefeated professionals colliding. Adrian Nejera faced Jason Edwards in a classic “Two O’s one’s got to go” matchup. Najera stubbornly landed numerous takedowns within the first few minutes of the bout. Edwards landed a good knee in the clinch late in the first round. He tried for a guillotine choke but let go eventually. While Najera continued to land takedowns, Edwards’ striking in the second half of the round worked well for him. Halfway through the second round, Najera had one of his better takedowns, taking the back of Edwards. Edwards was able to fight out of the predicament and take top position. When they got back up, Najera landed a knee which dropped Edwards and sent his mouthpiece flying. Najera put in an ambar in the final 10 seconds of the fight, with Edwards being able to endure until the bell. The fight went back to the ground in the final round when Edwards tried for a guillotine choke. Najera started to land tons of punches, getting a victory when he slipped in a rear naked choke. Adrian Najera added a second win to his career, capping off a widely successful night for the Body Shop MMA gym.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Najera 9 10
Edwards 10 9

Bellator will return this weekend with Bellator 229, headlined by Andrey Koreshkov and Lorenz Larkin, the show will take place from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, USA. Overall the card is 13 fights, with four of them being on the main card.

RIZIN 14 Preview

With their traditional New Year’s Eve event this year, RIZIN is putting a focus on the North American market. There are three main ways that they are doing this: by having lots of recent UFC fighters in action, by having a collaboration fight with Bellator Champion Darrion Caldwell, and by giving young kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa fight in an exhibition boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. The initial promotion of this event had a bump in the road, as after an initial press conference, Mayweather took to Instagram to say that he was mislead and that he has backed out of the bout. Since then things have seemingly been worked out between the boxer and the promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, since the fight is back on.

The official ruleset will be pure boxing, with no scorecards after the scheduled three rounds. The fight will also not affect anyone’s professional records. Nasukawa, the undefeated kickboxer, showed up in Nevada for on open workout at Mayweather’s gym earlier this month. This will be the second fight in a row for Tenshin where he is fighting a crossover bout. In September he battle RIZIN’s MMA star Kyoji Horiguchi in a kickboxing match. Nasukawa trained in Nevada leading up to this fight with boxer Jorge Linares.

There are two championship bouts on this card, with the biggest one being between Darrion Caldwell and Kyoji Horiguchi. Caldwell is a champion in Bellator, but won’t be defending his belt. Instead, he will face Horiguchi for the inaugural RIZIN Bantamweight Championship. The fight is expected to be only the start of a collaboration between the two promotions. Horiguchi has been undefeated in MMA since joining RIZIN. Putting that together with his final UFC fights, he is currently on a 10 fight win streak.

The biggest women’s fight on the card is Kanna Asakura defending her RIZIN Atomweight Championship against Ayaka Hamasaki. Hamasaki is 2-0 after making the move from Invicta to RIZIN. Asakura’s first title fight was against RENA, who she also defeated once before. Hamasaki’s last win was against Mina Kurobe, who was at the time the DEEP Jewels Atomweight Champion. The story going into that RIZIN 13 fight was it was two champions (Kurobe had her DEEP JEWELS belt and Hamasaki was a former Invicta champion) fighting, with the winner challenging Asakura.

After Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto unfortunately passed away in September, three Krazy Bee fighters were booked on this show. One of the fighters was Yusuke Yachi, who was highlighted on RIZIN’s web-docuseries “RIZIN Confessions.” On the show it was shown that Yachi is on a road to redemption. Before fighting in RIZIN he spent time in Shooto and Pancrase. From 2016 to 2018 Yachi was on a tear, getting five wins with three of them being first round stoppages. His momentum was halted at RIZIN 12 when he lost to Luis Gustavo. Part of his loss came because of his long hair getting in his eyes during the fight. On the web series he teased that he might go bald for NYE. He is set to face Johnny Case, who had a short stint in PFL after being released from the UFC.

Norifumi’s sister, Miyuu Yamamoto is also in action. The wrestler only delved into MMA in 2016, currently holding an even record of 3-3. She is set to face Mika Nagano, who is a veteran of the DEEP JEWELS promotion, making her RIZIN debut. Her son, Erson Yamamoto is scheduled to make his return to MMA after a round one loss to Manel Kape back in 2017. He looks to break even with his pro MMA record when he challenges Kazuyuki Miyata. Miyata is also coming off a long layoff, with his last fight being in 2016, defeating Andy Souwer in the first round of a Bushido Rules fight.

On the card there are three fights where RIZIN is feeding fighters to the promotions talent. These three bouts are an attempt to put RENA, Gabi Garcia and Shinju Nozawa-Auclair into the spotlight. In RENA’s case, her fight is a way to bounce back from the two losses she received from Kanna Asakura in her last two RIZIN fights. She is matched up against Samantha Jean-Francois, who has a professional record of 3-5-0. Nozawa-Auclair is clearly being built up as a star in the promotion since her mother, Naoko Nozawa is a well known Japanese comedian. In her first two RIZIN bouts she got first round Armbar victories, with one of the wins avenging her only amateur MMA loss. She fights Justyna Zofia Haba. Haba hasn’t had a professional MMA fight, and had her one amateur win back in 2014. Now longtime RIZIN fighter Gabi Garcia returns after a Road FC win back in the Spring. She fights Barbara Nepomuceno, a kickboxer making her MMA debut.

Former UFC fighter Damien Brown will be welcomed into the promotion by Daron Cruickshank. Also a former UFC competitor, Cruickshank has made himself known in RIZIN as a fighter who doesn’t rely on scorecards to win the bout. Currently on a four fight winning streak, Cruickshank has a 6-2 record in the promotion, all via stoppage. Brown’s run in UFC ended after he lost three fights in a row, exiting the promotion with a 2-4 record.

In a similar situation, former UFC Flyweight Ulka Sasaki will make his RIZIN debut against young fighter Manel Kape. Kape is currently bouncing back from two losses in a row, as he put on a dominant performance against Yusaku Nakamura at RIZIN 13. At age 25 he seems like a young prospect for the promotion. Sasaki had a 50/50 sort of run in the UFC, with his last fight being just last month against Alexandre Pantoja at Fight Night 140.

The fight between Nobumitsu Osawa and Tofik Masaev will be a battle of the newcomers. Osawa has been a fighter for the Shooto promotion for all of his career, and comes into RIZIN on a three fight win streak. Masaev is a fighter with an impressive 13-3 record, which has been collected from fights in China, Turkey and Azerbaijan, among other places.

For a couple of years now, Yuki Motoya has went back and forth between RIZIN and his main promotion DEEP. Currently on a four fight win streak, including one of them being at RIZIN 12, he will face Justin Scoggins. Scoggins is, like many people on this card, a former UFC fighter coming into the promotion. He had a three fight losing streak in the UFC, with one of those losses coming from the previously mentioned Ulka Sasaki.

Back in 2015 Jiri Prochazka joined RIZIN. Since then he has been a regular for the promotion, only losing one of his nine fights. He is currently on a six fight winning streak and is set to battle Brandon Halsey, who competed in PFL Season 1.

The prequel to the evening’s events, “RIZIN Heisei’s Last Yarennoka!,” kicks off in the late evening on the west. The headliner for that show is veteran fighters Tatsuya Kawajiri and Satoru Kitaoka. In Japan the show will be televised on Fuji TV, and in the rest of the world it can be seen via purchase on FITE TV. The 14 fight show is one that will be the main focus of the MMA world before we all say goodbye to 2018, and welcome the new year.