RIZIN lightweight champion Roberto Satoshi is down to fighting A.J. McKee a second time in Japan.
The jiu-jitsu specialist lost a decision to McKee in the main event of the special Bellator vs. RIZIN card on Dec. 31 this past New Year’s Eve when his title was not on the line. He wants to run it back, and believes that upping the stakes might entice McKee to face him one more time.
“If you say let’s do it again but this time for the belt, I think he’d do it,” Satoshi said on this week’s Trocação Franca podcast. “Who doesn’t want to fight for a belt?”
Bellator athletes went 5-0 that night against RIZIN representatives, but Satoshi went back home feeling things weren’t resolved in his clash.
“I’ve learned a lot from that fight,” Satoshi said. “It was the first time I was seen internationally, fighting a guy who I believe was one of the best in Bellator. I would like to fight him again. It was a questionable win I think there’s appetite for a rematch. I was surprised, too, because I didn’t believe I was on the same level of those guys.”
Satoshi returns to action in the early hours of Saturday to face another Bellator veteran at RIZIN 42, a non-title bout with Spike Carlyle. The Brazilian said “I don’t feel as nervous as I did before” now that he has shared the ring with McKee, but wishes his belt was up for grabs this weekend.
“If you’re fighting me I think my belt should be on the line,” said Satoshi, who revealed his fight purse is lower since he’s not defending his throne. “It might end up with a surprise, you put an unranked guy and he surprises the champion and they have to fight again for the belt. It has happened before. I don’t like it. A fighter should deserve to fight the champion and be coming off a win.”
Carlyle (14-4) fought once under the RIZIN banner, choking out Koji Takeda, but lost in his most recent bout to McKee in Bellator. “The Alpha Ginger” went 1-1 so far under the Bellator banner after a 1-2 run in the UFC cage.
“I think he’s awkward, he’s not very orthodox,” Satoshi said of Carlyle. “When you see someone with a certain fighting style you prepare for it and imagine what’s coming, but he switches stances, he throws weird kicks. Sometimes he does very advanced moves on the ground that you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s great,’ and then he does mistakes that you wonder what the hell he was trying to do. That’s something that worries me, but I think he’s coming confident on his hands. He’s knocked some people out, and I don’t think he’s trying to grapple with me.”