A.J. McKee vs. Patricky Pitbull to headline Bellator x RIZIN 2 in July

By Josh Evanoff - May 29, 2023

A.J. McKee and Patricky Pitbull will headline the second Bellator vs. RIZIN event later this year.

In December, the two promotions had their first cross-promoted event. While Bellator and RIZIN have long held a talent partnership, their fighters didn’t face off until late last year. In the initial event, the Scott Coker-led company had a clean sweep, going 5-0 against their counterparts in Japan.

Just a few months after that event, they’re now slated to hold another. Earlier today in Japan, Bellator and RIZIN announced that the second cross-promoted card will go down in July at the Saitama Super Arena. Furthermore, the event will be headlined by a high-profile lightweight clash.


That lightweight clash will come between A.J. McKee and Patricky Pitbull. ‘Mercenary’ has a history with the Brazilian family already, having gone 1-1 in a series with Patricio Pitbull at featherweight. Now at lightweight, he will face the younger brother, who’s spent his entire career at 155 pounds.

The former lightweight champion is coming off a loss to Usman Nurmagomedov in November. In the process, Pitbull lost his title, but now has a chance to get right back to a title fight. The winner of July’s bout will move to the finals of Bellator’s lightweight Grand Prix.

However, that wasn’t the only championship fight announced earlier today. In addition to the main event, a co-main flyweight showcase between Kyoji Horiguchi and Makoto Shinryu was revealed. The two will battle to crown Bellator’s initial flyweight champion, as the promotion reportedly began plans to start a new weight class earlier this month.

For his part, ‘The Typhoon’ enters July’s flyweight bout riding a two-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, Shinryu has scored victories in his six most recent appearances.

What do you make of this announcement? Are you excited for Bellator x RIZIN 2? Who do you think will win in the main event? A.J. McKee or Patricky Pitbull?


A.J. McKee Patricky Pitbull