Bellator’s first trip to Japan, a cross-promotion with RIZIN Fighting Federation, has begun to take shape, with Lorenz Larkin and Goiti Yamauchi among the names on the December card.
Bellator Japan, a cross-promotional effort that will feature a number of RIZIN FF fighters taking on their Bellator counterparts, has added several new bouts. In a press release Thursday, Bellator and RIZIN officials announced a host of fights in addition to the previously announced pairings of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Rampage Jackson and Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson.
Among them, Lorenz Larkin (21-7, 1NC), a potential candidate as the next Bellator MMA welterweight title challenger, will take on RIZIN’s Keita Nakamura (34–10–2, 1NC). Nakamura will be making his debut for RIZIN following his second stint in the UFC, where he went 4-4.
Also on deck, Bellator lightweight Goiti Yamauchi (24-4), of Brazilian-Japanese descent, will take on America’s Daron Cruickshank (22-12, 1NC), who has reinvigorated his career in Japan.
Nakamura was quoted in a press release Thursday as saying “I recall [Lorenz] Larkin tweeting something like ‘Free me from my chains and send me to Japan,’ so I would like to capture the loose monsoon with my rear naked choke and send him back home. But with all respect, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to face such a great fighter.”
Additional bouts were also announced Thursday for RIZIN 20. Including an appearance by undefeated Bellator prospect Patrick Mix. Bellator Japan (billed as “Powered by RIZIN”) takes place December 29, 2019 while RIZIN 20 takes place December 31st. Both events take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, just outside Tokyo.
Bellator Japan powered by RIZIN
Fedor Emelianenko vs Quinton “Rampage”Jackson
Michael Chandler vs Benson Henderson
Lorenz Larkin vs Keita Nakamura
Ilara Joannevs Kana Watanabe
Goiti Yamauchi vs Daron Cruickshank
Andy Nguyen vs Ai Shimizu
Ryuichiro Sumimura vs Jon Tuck
Haruo Ochi vs Jarred Brooks
Yusuke Yachi vs Hiroto Uesako
Ayaka Hamasaki vs Seo Hee Ham
Johnny Case vs Tofiq Musaev
Patricky “Pitbull”Freire vs Luiz Gustavo
Yuki Motoya vs Patrick Mix
Mikuru Asakura vs John Macapa