New Year’s Eve keeps getting bigger, with RIZIN 40 (the Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN super show) adding even more names.
Late Wednesday, RIZIN officials announced another three fights for the Saitama card, including Luiz Gustavo vs. Johnny Case, Hideo Tokoro vs. John Dodson, and Noah Bey vs. Sho Patrick Usami.
— RIZIN PPV OFFICIAL (@PPV_RIZIN) November 17, 2022
Dodson (22-13), a former two-time UFC title challenger at flyweight, will return to 125lbs against Tokoro in his RIZIN debut. Most recently, “The Magician” competed at XMMA 4, picking up a win against fellow UFC vet Francisco Rivera.
Tokoro (35-31-2) last fought in July, where the veteran lost a decision against Makoto Takahashi. The 45-year old began his MMA career in 2000, and has competed for RIZIN, Bellator MMA, Dream, K-1, Shooto, and other orgs. In 2005, he fought to a draw with Royce Gracie in a welterweight bout; the Japanese star holds wins over Brad Pickett and Royler Graice, among others.
Having fought everywhere from flyweight to heavyweight, Hideo Tokoro also holds the record for competing in the most weight classes in MMA, at seven.
Johnny Case (27-9-1) will look to snap a three-fight skid when he faces Brazil’s Luiz Gustavo in a lightweight match-up at RIZIN 40. Case has lost three consecutive bouts to Tofiq Musayev, Roberto “Satoshi” Souza, and most recently, Koji Takeda. Musayev is now a player in Bellator’s lightweight division, while the Souza bout was for RIZIN’s lightweight title.
Noah Bey (1-2) returns to MMA for the first time since 2021 when he faces Sho Patrick Usami (5-1), who will be making his sophomore outing for RIZIN Fighting Federation in the bout.
Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN (RIZIN 40) takes place on December 31, 2022 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The following fights have been announced for the card thus far:
- A.J. McKee vs. Roberto de Souza
- Patricio Pitbull vs. Kleber Koike
- Juan Archuleta vs. Soo Chul Kim
- Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo
- Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. Koji Takeda
- Tsuyoshi Sudario vs. Junior Tafa
- Naoki Inoue vs. Kenta Takizawa
- Yuki Motoya vs. Rogerio Bontorin
- John Dodson vs. Hideo Tokoro
- Luiz Gustavo vs. Johnny Case
- Noah Bey vs. Sho Patrick Usami