Patrick Mix takes on Yuki Motoya at RIZIN 20 on New Year’s Eve. A lot is going on at this New Year’s Eve extravaganza including the continuation of the lightweight grand prix. Mix vs. Motoya is a stellar bantamweight bout and could generate one of the standout, highlight-reel moments from the entire card. Mix has an unblemished record dating back to his amateur days and has established himself as one of Bellator’s best 135lb’ers. He’ll represent the promotion as he heads to Japan in this cross-promotional battle.
Mix (12-0) has been getting in the usual work at Jackson-Wink MMA ahead of his trip to Japan. Working with guys ranging anywhere from ’35 to ’55. Mix explained that “My coaches structure it because we have such diverse partners. So many different styles that come in this gym.”
Mix respects the skillset of Motoya but also sees his own distinct advantages in the fight. “I think he’s a good fighter,” Mix stated. “He fights on their circuits which is different than the American circuit I feel. I know he’s fought a lot lighter than me; flyweight 125… I have much respect for him and his game. But my size, my skill, and my work ethic is just going to be too much for him… I’m trying to go directly through him.”
Mix pulled off a relatively rare submission maneuver in his last fight on the Bellator stage. A move that had never been pulled off in Bellator prior to that point. Mix defeated Isaiah Chapman via Suloev Stretch at 3:49 in the first roun of their fight. That went down at Bellator 232, and Mix seems to have residual momentum from his late October win. While Mix had pulled off the submission earlier in his MMA career, it was a history-making moment on the Bellator stage specifically.
When asked about that finish, Mix replied “It was pretty cool, man. Just to get it. I hunt from the back and it just shows my diversity. It shows I’m willing to take risks. I’m out there to try to finish guys. Not hold position. Even though it seems like I’m over the top, I’m still hunting the legs.”
Mix’s goals for 2020 are basically to maintain the consistency that he has been at for a meaningful period of time. “Continuing to get a body of work in Bellator. I want to stay active,” Mix said. “Don’t mind about the championship or getting rushed to that. I want to continue to fight these other contenders and just stay active even after December… The last six years I fought four times a year so I’m trying to continue that”
Bellator’s bantamweight belt
Mix has made his thoughts on the bantamweight title picture perfectly clear at various points throughout the calendar year. With Horiguchi vacating his RIZIN and Bellator MMA belts due to injury, this clears the way for the rest of the division. Namely the undefeated Patrick Mix who is being mentioned in title talks by fans and pundits alike.
“They haven’t communicated anything to me about the belt yet. I’m just trying to do my job taking these contenders out,” said Mix. “Putting them away. Look at everyone’s resumes and then look at mine. It just looks different.”
Mix continued, “Winning the belt, defending the belt… Being a champion those goals are all on my mind and they’re in my sights now.”
The RIZIN rules add an interesting wrinkle to this contest for ‘Patchy.’ Mix noted that “Normally I like to employ my elbows. I’m elbowing guys from the back.” That won’t be the case on New Year’s Even. Instead, the rule set will be “taking that away because I’m not going to have elbows, but I’ll have knees and kicks and stomps.”
If the soccer kick opportunity is there, he will capitalize on it. More than likely though, the rule set will open up some creative submission grappling sequences for Patrick Mix. “I feel like a lot of people don’t respect the grappling art of it. They think it’s boring. The casual fan,” he observed. “So if I can do some cool stuff like that, maybe it could draw some more people in. Get some more fans and more eyes on the sport.”