AJ McKee vs. Patricky Pitbull, first ever Bellator flyweight champion will be crowned at Bellator x RIZIN 2 in July
A.J. McKee will battle Patricky Pitbull in the next quarterfinal matchup during the ongoing Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix on July 30 at Bellator x RIZIN 2 scheduled at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
In addition to McKee vs. Pitbull in the main event, the first ever Bellator flyweight world champion will be crowned when Kyoji Horiguchi takes on Makoto “Shinruy” Takahashi at 125 pounds.
Bellator officials announced the new card along with the fights on Saturday with a press conference also scheduled in Japan to kick off the latest co-promotion with RIZIN. The card will take place on Sunday, July 30 in Japan with broadcast details in the United States still to be determined.
McKee returns to Japan after dispatching Roberto de Souza at the last Bellator x RIZIN card on New Year’s Eve. That victory marked McKee’s second straight win since moving to the lightweight division after previously reigning as the Bellator flyweight champion.
He will look to keep his momentum going when he faces off with Pitbull, who lost the Bellator lightweight title this past November in a decision to reigning champion Usman Nurmagomedov. Pitbull will attempt to get back on track when he faces McKee after his brother Patricio Pitbull split a pair of fights with the 28-year-old fighter from California.
In the co-main event, Horiguchi will seek to become the first ever Bellator flyweight champion as the promotion introduces a men’s 125-pound division for the first time. Horiguchi was widely considered one of the top flyweights in the world while he was competing in the UFC, although in recent years he’s almost exclusively been competing at bantamweight.
He picked up a win at flyweight over Hiromasa Ougikubo at the last Bellator x RIZIN card this past December and now he’ll see to add the flyweight title to his impressive resume.
As for “Shinryu,” the 22-year-old sensation sports a 16-1-1 record overall with 10 straight wins in a row including submissions three of his past four victories.
Women’s flyweights Kana Watanabe and Veta Arteaga will also clash on the Bellator x RIZIN 2 card scheduled in July.
The Bellator fights will actually take place in a cage while the RIZIN fights will happen inside the ring. Bellator fighters Juan Archuleta and Tofiq Musayev will both compete on the RIZIN portion of the event.