The 2022 mixed martial arts (MMA) calendar is set to go out with a bang on New Year’s Eve.
RIZIN 40 will play host to an MMA civil war as five of Bellator’s best fighters make the trip over to Saitama, Japan to face some of the promotion’s finest. Amongst those involved are Bellator staples and former champions at Lightweight and Bantamweight, A.J. McKee and Juan Archuleta.
“The Spaniard” was the first to chat, discussing making his dream of competing in Japan a reality. Ever since the two promotions began collaborating in the late 2010s, Archuleta developed a desire to get involved. Now, he’s tasked with surging South Korean dynamo, Soo Chul Kim.
McKee finds himself slotted into one of the most intriguing match ups of the year, facing RIZIN Lightweight kingpin, Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza. As everyone does against Satoshi, McKee will also look to avoid the phenomenal Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills possessed by the 33-year-old submission master. A win wouldn’t only bring pride to McKee, but potentially a title shot rematch as well as a crack at Bellator gold.
Before RIZIN 40, however, rising Featherweight star, Ren Hiramoto, scored a big victory in RIZIN Landmark 4’s main event, putting him on his first win streak in MMA. Hiramoto was pleased with his dominant unanimous decision over Satoshi “Dominator”’ Yamasu. Going forward, the 24-year-old is eager to continue showing his growth in the sport after establishing himself as a kickboxer for the majority of his combat sports career.
Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or you can listen on Spotify.