Patricky Freire secured his place in the final of the Lightweight Grand Prix wit a superb soccer kick knockout over Luiz Gustavo at RIZIN 20.
Coming into the event the expectation was that Freire would be viewed as one of the favorites, especially after his dominant quarter-final win over Tatsuya Kawajiri back at RIZIN 19 in October. In the semis earlier this evening he was able to live up to the hype in a big way as he finished Gustavo off in less than half a minute.
The win ensured that Freire would be as fresh as a daisy for the final of the tournament which also took place on the very same card.
See his win below (via Kyle Johnson on Twitter).
Chaos reigns across the Lightweight GP semis, as Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (23-8) unleashes a cavalcade of blows upon Luiz Gustavo in under 30 seconds! Bellator's all-time KO leader extends his win streak to seven. He and Tofiq will be fresh for the finals. #RIZIN20 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/DaE3HywJJC— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) December 31, 2019
Despite the impressive finish, Freire was unable to replicate that success in the final as he was defeated by Tofiq Musayev to move his overall record in MMA to 23-9. The loss came via unanimous decision and served as the final fight before the last intermission of the night in Saitama.
RIZIN’s strong presence in Japan is quite clear to see, and it’s something that has evidently caught the eye of Bellator. The two promotions have been working side by side throughout the course of the week and beyond in preparation for their two events, and as we look ahead to 2020, it seems likely that they’ll continue to collaborate.
Whether it be another event or sending fighters over from one promotion to the other, this kind of crossover is always going to cause a level of intrigue and appeal within the mixed martial arts community — especially when it comes during a bit of down time for the UFC.
What do you think of this devastating win from Patricky Freire? Who do you think should be next for him after his subsequent loss to Tofiq Musayev?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/31/2019.