It was a successful holiday weekend for Bellator MMA, to say the least.
The California-based promotion went 5-0 in its head-to-head matchup
with Rizin Fighting Federation on New Year’s Eve in
Saitama, Japan, with reigning featherweight king Patricio
Freire and former 145-pound champ A.J. McKee
leading the charge. Freire, currently No. 2 in the featherweight
division, authored a solid-if-not-spectacular performance in
earning a unanimous decision triumph against Rizin 145-pound champ
McKee, meanwhile, survived some precarious moments to capture a
unanimous nod over Rizin lightweight champ Roberto
Satoshi de Souza in the evening’s main event. McKee, currently
ranked fourth at 145 pounds, improves to 2-0 since moving to
lightweight, giving him plenty of options for his next move.
Elsewhere, Seika Izawa
completed her run through the Rizin super atomweight grand prix
with a split-decision triumph against Si Woo
Park. Izawa improves to 2-0 against the No. 2 Park and 9-0
overall as she enters the New Year as the clear-cut No. 1
atomweight in the world.
Note: Previous rankings listed in brackets.
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