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Patricio Pitbull, A.J. McKee among Bellator stars set to face RIZIN fighters on NYE show in Japan

A.J. McKee
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator will once again partner with RIZIN for a New Year’s Eve card in Japan, and will bring some of its biggest stars to the Dec. 31 show at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, the company announced Monday.

Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull will be joined by former titleholders A.J. McKee, Juan Archuleta, Kyoji Horiguchi and a fifth yet-to-be-announced fighter in a five-on-five main card clash with RIZIN athletes. The rules set will be announced “soon.”

Pitbull (34-5) last fought earlier this month, defending his 145-pound title with a decision over Adam Borics. McKee (19-1) made his lightweight debut on the same card, rebounding from his first career loss with a decision over spike Carlyle. Archuleta (26-4), who was also part of the Bellator 286 lineup, defeated Enrique Barzola after three rounds. Horiguchi (30-5) made his return to RIZIN in September, tapping Yuto Hokamura in the second round.

RIZIN and Bellator have partnered multiple times over the course of the past seven years, culminating in Horiguchi becoming a two-promotion bantamweight champion and Patricky Pitbull reaching the finals of the RIZIN lightweight grand prix.

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