Bellator 237, Rizin FF 20 cards begin to fill out with multiple additions, including five crossover bouts

Five additional fights have been added to the upcoming Bellator and Rizin FF joint cards being held in Saitama, Japan.

Bellator president Scott Coker shared the news of three crossover bouts that are headed to the Bellator 237 card at Saitama Super Arena, as well as two crossover bouts added to the Rizin FF 20 card also taking place at the same venue, two days later.

On the Bellator card, UFC veterans Lorenz Larkin (21-7 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) and Keita Nakamura (35-10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will both make quick turnarounds and square off in a welterweight bout. Since dropping his first two promotional bouts with Bellator, Larkin has won his last three in a row, most recently picking up a split-decision win over Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 229. Nakamura made good in his Rizin debut, scoring a first round finish over Marcos Yoshio de Souza at Rizin FF 19.

Also headed to Bellator 237 is a women’s flyweight bout between Ilara Joanne (9-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) and Kana Watanabe (8-0-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). Joanne recently picked up the biggest win of her career, submitting UFC veteran Bec Rawlings in her Bellator debut last month. Joanne, who’s riding a three-fight winning streak, recently called out 125-pound champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, but instead draws Japan’s undefeated Watanabe.

The third bout added to Bellator 237 is a lightweight bout between Goiti Yamauchi (24-4 MMA, 10-3 BMMA) and Daron Cruickshank (22-12 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). Yamauchi is coming off back-to-back wins that include a decision over Daniel Weichel and a first-round submission over Saad Awad at October’s Bellator 229. Cruickshank, has dropped his last two in a row to Damien Brown and Tofiq Musaev, and he now looks to get back in the win column.

Meanwhile, on the Dec. 31 Rizin card, two bouts will take place under the Japanese promotion’s ruleset. Yuki Motoya (23-7) faces undefeated Patrick Mix (12-0) in a bantamweight bout, while Mikuru Asakura (11-1) will take on John Macapa (23-42) in a featherweight clash.

Meanwhile, Rizin officials announced a series of post-lim bouts to take place at Bellator 237, which the Japanese promotion is calling “Bellator Japan powered by RIZIN.”

The matchups include Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. Ai Shimizu (5-1), Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5), Jarred Brooks (15-2) vs. Haruo Ochi (19-7-2) and Hiroto Uesako (16-8) vs. Yusuke Yachi (20-9).

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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