Bellator, RIZIN will aim “to win every fight” on New Years Eve

By Zain Bando - December 21, 2022

Bellator and RIZIN held a joint press conference Tuesday to promote the crossover event taking place in Japan New Years Eve. The event will feature five fights with the best fighters from both promotions facing each other, including names like A.J. McKee Jr. and Patricio Pitbull, to name a few.


Scott Coker and Nobuyuki Sakakibara were on hand to discuss everything related to the event. In so many words,  it’s more than just any singular event. It’s business-like and something that the two MMA moguls hope to continue to run back each and every year moving forward.

“I’m really excited and honored to be a part of New Year’s Eve at this level,” Coker said. “Meaning a fight where we’re going to bring five of our top guys against five of RIZIN’s top fighters and champions. As you guys know the history of this arena having fights on New Year’s Eve, I believe it goes back 20 years now and even when I was working for K1 at the time and then I stopped working for K1 around 2006, 2007 but I still went back to Japan to see the New Year’s Eve show because it was such a big spectacle. If you’ve never been there or never seen it, you have to tune in and watch it because it is something spectacular.”

Their long-standing business relationship and friendship does not mean that records don’t matter. With its head-to-head format, the objective is clear from the jump.

Coker wants the fights to be entertaining, and although his objective is to have his guys go undefeated, anything can happen.

“I’ll tell you: we want to go 5-0,” Coker said. “That’s my goal, to win every fight. But in MMA, it’s going to be very hard to do. The goal is to go 5-0, but one wrong punch, one wrong kick, or one takedown — one mistake could change the outcome of the fight. In MMA, things can change extremely quickly. It’s hard to predict an outcome. I’m sure Sakakibara wants to go 5-0 against us, too. I think that’s why it’s such a great promotion. Let’s let the fighters fight, and we’ll see what happens.”

Sakakibara wants to remain in business with Bellator and also have his RIZIN fighters go unbeaten. But, at the end of the day, he wants the Japanese MMA tradition to go on past Dec. 31, 2022.

“We don’t want this to be a one-time thing,” Sakakibara said. “We know the top versus the top is what everyone wants to see. We hope this can be the beginning of something new in our industry. You can only go so far when you do the rankings within your own promotion. We believe this is the next step for our industry. We’ve been talking with Scott about this, and we think it’s only the next step that we take our athletes to the US and fight under BELLATOR rules. We think this makes sense.”

Which promotion will reign supreme come fight night? Let us know in the comments below, B.J. Penn Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM