Spike Carlyle is getting the opportunity to make a dream come true when debuting in RIZIN at RIZIN 35 this weekend (April 17, 2022).
The transition to an Asia-based promotion comes with many new elements, in RIZIN specifically, the rules and scoring system are different from the U.S. Instead of scoring fights round-by-round like under the U.S.’s unified rules, fights are scored overall and strikes to downed opponents like soccer kicks, knees to the head, and stomps are legal.
“The Alpha Ginger” feels this different ruleset will only benefit his style, but if he had it his way, fights would still be fought like they were in the early days.
“Honestly, I think they should have just one 20-minute round. That would be ideal,” Carlyle told MMAMania.com on BROADENED HORIZIN. “Or one infinite round, whatever. Because I’ve never been finished before out of 30 fights [across] Muay Thai, MMA, I’ve never been knocked out or submitted so the longer the fight goes, if it only ends by finish, I think I never quit and you’re gonna have to kill me and nobody’s been able to kill me yet.”
Since departing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in late 2020 after a 1-2 run, Carlyle has been perfect, winning four straight with three ending via submission and the other by knockout. His last time out came inside the Bellator cage in a wild one that saw him put away Dan Moret.
Now, Carlyle finds himself in a very uniquely comfortable position where he belongs to two different fighting homes.
“Man, it was a tough outing. That’s not the way I want to go out there and fight all the time, man,” he said. “I don’t want to have these three-round wars, there’s only so much the human body can take. But obviously, I’m super grateful I got the win, I persevered and God came through with a miracle so it was very nice. Those are the ones you don’t forget.
“They’re allowing me to compete in RIZIN as well so it’s pretty special,” Carlyle continued. “I can compete in Japan for now then maybe in a few months, fight in Bellator then back to Japan, back and forth, so it’s the best of both worlds. I’m lovin’ it.”
The San Diego, Calif. native will be welcomed to the RIZIN ring by former Deep Lightweight titleholder Koji Takeda in what is sure to be an action-packed affair. Prior to his last and only second career defeat one win ago, Takeda was right in line for a shot at the 155-pound RIZIN crown. A win here for either man can put them one step closer to that ultimate goal.
“I would love to win the title and be a world champion for RIZIN so the sooner that happens, the better,” Carlyle said. “But I also know there’s a timing in everything so I just have to keep patience, keep the perseverance, and I know one day at a time and that will eventually happen as long as I do what I’m supposed to do.”
Watch the full episode in the video above or you can listen on Spotify.