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Patchy Mix wants finish at RIZIN 20 to vault him into vacant Bellator bantamweight title fight

Patchy Mix (right) fights Yuki Motoya (left) in a bantamweight bout at RIZIN 20 in Saitama, Japan, on New Year’s Eve
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Unbeaten in 12 pro bouts, it’s fair to say Patchy Mix is in line for a crack at the vacant Bellator bantamweight championship.

Mix, who said he’s previously been billed as “Patrick” because it sounded more professional, has had a stellar 2019, racking up three wins including two for Bellator. He made his promotional debut in June at Madison Square Garden, choking out Ricky Bandejas in just 66 seconds. He then broke out a Suloev Stretch against Isaiah Chapman at Bellator 232 for another first-round finish.

That’s seven consecutive wins by knockout or submission the native New Yorker, who in January moved to New Mexico to work with Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink team after conducting fight camps there in recent years.

At RIZIN 20 on New Year’s Eve, he takes on 31-fight veteran Yuki Motoya. While there have been no guarantees of a title shot, Mix will do everything in his power to be one-half of a fight for the Bellator bantamweight title; the belt was vacated in the wake of an injury to Kyoji Horiguchi.

“I’m not sure if [beating Motoya] puts me in that spot, but do I want it to? Hell yeah,” Mix recently told MMA Fighting. “I’m going to go in there and try to put this guy away in the first round so I have 10 finishes. I’m a finisher, I go out there to finish fights. I’ll have 10 finishes, 13-0, that’s my job.”

Bellator’s 135-pound division is wide open with Horiguchi sidelined for the foreseeable future. Two of its past champions, Eduardo Dantas and Darrion Caldwell, dabble at featherweight, while James Gallagher continues to build his case. The promotion also recently signed UFC veteran Sergio Pettis, who’s set to debut in 2020.

At 26, Mix isn’t in a rush to get to the top. But he’s confident that he can win it all now if he’s given the chance. He’s previously spoken about a fight with Horiguchi, whose sterling reputation supersedes any sort of personal beef.

“It was never anything personal against Horiguchi, and I wish him the best of luck recovering,” Mix said. “It was more because I wanted that belt, and wherever you’re at, if you want to be the best you always want to chase the guys at the top, so it was just more about that.

“He did vacate it, which was very respectful of him. But it was disappointing for me as a competitor, because if anyone was going to beat him, (it was going to be me). He just won the [Bellator] belt and he also had the RIZIN belt and he’s ranked top in the world. I really wanted to get a win over him, because it would establish me as one of the best bantamweights in the world.”

Although a win over Motoya might not carry the same weight as a win over Horiguchi, Mix can still make a statement if he authors another memorable finish.

“I gotta finish him – I have to,” Mix said. “I’m all about doing things that nobody has done before. It’s not a disappointment me to me [if I don’t finish]. But I’m a finisher, (and) I’m going out there to finish on New Year’s.”

For more from Mix and why he’s so excited to fight under the RIZIN rule set, check out his fight-week interview with MMA Fighting in Tokyo.

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