Bellator, Rizin to Hold Event in Japan on Dec. 29; Fedor Emelianenko Likely to Compete

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 8, 2019


Bellator MMA and Rizin Fighting Federation will hold an event together at the end of the year in Japan.

Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara recently revealed the news of the card via social media. Bellator has also since announced in a news release that it will hold a press conference on Wednesday in Japan with Scott Coker and Fedor Emelianenko in attendance.

“Bellator will be coming to Japan to put on a [historic] event on [Dec. 29],” Sakakibara wrote on Instagram. “We will host an emergency press conference with Bellator president Scott Coker and Fedor Emelianenko! We hope to deliver exciting news so please make sure to come out and experience the press conference!”

This summer, Coker mentioned that the two organizations were working on a “big fight” for the end of the year and teased the possibility of a bout between Emelianenko and Quinton Jackson or Josh Barnett. At the time, Coker was unsure if the card would be a joint event, fight sharing or a standalone Bellator card, but it now appears that it will be a cross-promotional offering.

Rizin has resurrected the Japanese tradition of holding cards at the end of the year that was made famous by the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships. Last year, for example, Sakakibara’s organization held back-to-back cards on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. Bellator’s Darrion Caldwell competed on New Year’s Eve, falling to Kyoji Horiguchi in a bout for the inaugural Rizin bantamweight crown.

View this post on Instagram

Bellator will be coming to Japan to put on a historical event on December 29th! We will host an emergency press conference with Bellator president Scott Coker and Fedor Emelianenko! We hope to be able to deliver exciting news so please make sure to come out and experience the press conference! ーーーーーーー ついに決まりました!BellatorとRIZINが今年の年末にお互いの威信を賭けて全面対抗戦で激突する事が正式決定しました!10/9(水)にBellator代表スコット・コーカー氏とヒョードル選手が緊急来日して共に記者会見に臨みます!皆さんの胸躍る発表が出来ると思いますので、是非楽しみにお待ちください!

A post shared by NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) on Oct 7, 2019 at 4:19am PDT

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