Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has rizin to rush…
The 36-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, Bellator‘s franchise fighter will fight this weekend on short notice as part of the Bellator-Rizin co-promotional card at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Freire, the Bellator featherweight champion, will face Japanese kickboxer Chihiro Suzuki at a 154-pound catchweight on the Rizin portion of the card, just a little more than one month after falling to Sergio Pettis in a Bellator bantamweight title fight.
Freire vs. Suzuki will be contested under Rizin rules in a ring.
The Bellator portion of the card, with bouts in a cage, will begin the proceedings Sunday afternoon in Japan (Saturday night in the U.S.), with the Rizin card following immediately after it.
AJ McKee, the former Bellator featherweight champion, was supposed to headline the Bellator portion of the event against Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, Patricio’s brother, in a Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal fight. But McKee had to withdraw for medical reasons, it was announced Wednesday.
Rizin lightweight champion Roberto “Satoshi” Souza will replace McKee in the fight and in the tournament.
The Bellator card will include the promotion’s inaugural flyweight title fight, with former Bellator and Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi taking on Makoto “Shinryu” Takahashi.
Mikuru Asakura — arguably Rizin’s most popular fighter, who also boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year — will face Vugar Karamov in a Rizin featherweight title bout in the Rizin headliner.
In the Rizin co-main event, Bellator’s Juan Archuleta will fight Hiromasa Ougikubo for the Rizin bantamweight title.
And in another title bout, the undefeated Seika Izawa will defend her Rizin women’s super atomweight title against Combate Global’s Claire Lopez.