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Neiman Gracie to fight Kiichi Kunimoto at Bellator 236

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Neiman Gracie
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Coming off of his first loss, Neiman Gracie is being booked against a veteran for his next outing.

MMA Fighting confirmed with officials that Gracie (9-1) will fight Kiichi Kunimoto (20-8-2, 1 NC) in a welterweight bout at Bellator 236, which takes place at Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on Dec. 21. The matchup was first reported by ESPN.

Gracie suffered the first setback of his career at Bellator 222 in June in a five-round unanimous decision loss to champion Rory MacDonald in the semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. Prior to that, the 30-year-old Brazilian had won seven of his first eight fights by submission including a rear-naked choke of previously unbeaten Ed Ruth.

Kunimoto saw his own win streak snapped recently at Bellator 224, where he lost a unanimous decision to Ruth. The 13-year veteran is 9-3 in his last 12 bouts.

A featherweight bout between Kai Kamaka III (5-2) and Spencer Higa (7-10) has also been added to the Dec. 21 card. Kamaka made a successful Bellator debut last December in Hawaii, defeating Shojin Miki by unanimous decision.

Bellator 236 is the second of back-to-back events taking place in Hawaii for the promotion this December. Bellator 235, a military forces tribute show being organized in conjunction with the USO, goes down on Dec. 20.

The main card of Bellator 235 will air on Paramount Network and DAZN, while the main card of Bellator 236 will air exclusively on DAZN.