The Rizin 40 New Year tournament, which will take place on December 31 at the iconic Saitama Super arena, will be a joint event between the Japanese league and Bellator MMA fighters, which was officially announced by representatives of the organizations at the press conference, announcing the four fights of the holiday show.
The main event of the tournament will feature a lightweight bout between former Bellator Featherweight Champion AJ McKee and current Rizin Lightweight title holder Roberto de Souza, while the event’s co-main event will see reigning organization featherweight champions Patricio Freire take on Kleber Koik Erbst.
In addition, former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Juan Archuleta and Road FC Dual Champion Soo Chul Kim, as well as Kyoji Horiguchi and Rizin Grand Prix winner Hiromasa Ogikubo, were officially unveiled.
None of the announced bouts will be championship matches, but they will all be played under Rizin’s rules, which allow soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent. The remaining fights of the New Year’s show will be announced in the near future.