Lindsey VanZandt impressed once again in the Bellator cage, with a submission victory over RIZIN’s Rena in the very first round.
The cross-promotion between RIZIN Fighting Federation and Bellator MMA is also on the preliminary card as Japanese star Rena faces Lindsey VanZandt at a catchweight bout of 112-pounds.
Rena (8-2), is one of RIZIN’s biggest stars back in her native country of Japan. Rena has had all of her professional contests inside of RIZIN, going 8-2, with both losses coming to fellow prospect Kanna Asakura. The 27-year old most recently bounced back however, with a unanimous decision victory over Samantha Jean-Francois at RIZIN 15 back in April. The bout will be Rena’s American debut.
Lindsey VanZandt (5-1), is coming off a knockout victory in her Bellator debut over Tabatha Ann Watkins at Bellator 215 in February. The 25-year old is a former competitor of King of the Cage and Invicta FC. Her only loss, was a unanimous decision defeat to kelly D’Angelo at Invicta FC 31 last September. Outside of her Bellator debut, her biggest win is against current ONE Championship fighter Bi Nguyen. However, a win over Rena would be a real feather in VanZandt’s cap.
Cageside Press are at Bellator 222, and will be producing content and coverage throughout the night at Madison Square Garden.
Both women touch gloves to start off. Rena lands a leg kick followed by a right hand. Rena is attacking that leg kick early. VanZandt looking for a takedown against the cage. Rena defends well and circles back into the middle. Both girls exchange leg kicks. VanZandt lands another leg kick, followed by another but Rena counters with punches. Rena lands a left hand followed by a knee. VanZandt lands a body kick as Rena lands a knee again, but VanZandt takes her down because of it. VanZandt takes the back of Rena against the cage. Rena manages to defend the rear-naked choke initially but VanZandt locks it in and chokes Rena out cold. The first submission win of VanZandt’s career.
Official Result: Lindsey VanZandt def. Rena by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 1 (4:04)