This past weekend we got some major breaking news in the world of Bellator. The promotion announced that they will be doing their second co-promotion with Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN. The card goes down on July 31st and a featured Bellator matchup headlines the event.
While the event is being built as a promotion vs promotion event, the main event features a lightweight Grand Prix matchup. Former featherweight champion AJ McKee (20-1) is back as he takes on former lightweight champion Patricky Pitbull (24-11).
McKee fought on the first co-promotion card against Roberto de Souza and won by decision. It was his second lightweight bout since moving up from 145 pounds. Thus far, McKee has been perfect at lightweight and he’s hoping that things remain the same.
Patricky Pitbull will look to bounce back after he lost the title to Usman Nurmagomedov last November. We haven’t seen the former champion since that fight. Prior to the loss to Nurmagomedov, he had knocked out Peter Queally to become the lightweight champion.
Bellator Flyweight Championship
In the co-main event, the promotion will debut their flyweight division. This was teased late in the week last week. Kyoji Horiguchi (31-5) will finally get to fight in his natural weight class as he takes on Makoto Shinryu (16-1-1).
Last month, Horiguchi was supposed to fight Ray Borg in the flyweight division for Bellator. It was going to be the promotion’s first flyweight bout as they were setting up this new division. However, Borg failed to make weight and the fight was scrapped.
Now, Horiguchi will face off against Shinryu to be the face of Bellator’s flyweight division. Shinryu has gone unbeaten in his last 11 fights. He’s fought in Bellator once, but has mainly spent time between RIZIN and DEEP. He did recently win the Cage Fury flyweight championship.