McKee beats Roberto de Souza

AJ Maki making it a clean sweep for Team Bellator at Rizin FF 40: Rizin vs. Bellator

Former Featherweight Champion Bellator defeated Lightweight Champion Rizin FF Roberto D’Souza by unanimous decision in the main event of Saturday’s card, which pitted high-profile names from major organizations against each other. With this win, Bellator beat Rizin FF 5-0 in a cross promotion showdown.

The event was held at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, near Tokyo, Japan. The main card airs on Showtime via tape delay at 8pm ET.

Maki (20-1) and De Souza (14-2) had arguably the best fight from the main card. The two moved back and forth on the floor and feet. It was a high paced match.

In the first round, Maki sought dominance on the feet, but de Souza pulled the guard and forced him into a melee. Against the advice of his corner, McKee did not look to get back on his feet and welcomed the ground work. The rest of the round, Mackey would land and pound from the top and keep his defense intact, while de Souza looked to set up orders from below.

Things really got better in the second round. De Souza sided with Mackey and the two exchanged shots, at times getting heated in their exchanges. It was fairly even and then de Souza managed to get the fight to the ground and get the ball back up the halfway point. De Souza had a good hold, but didn’t look to get close in any of his submission attempts. With about a minute left, Maki crept up and started to punish the Brazilian. Big jabs, knees to the head during the landings – Mackie put it on de Souza.

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In the final round, it was clearly de Souza who shone. He takes a more aggressive approach and takes Maki several times, while going backwards several times, attacking from multiple positions. McKee spent the majority of the tour trying to defend takedowns and fight submissions.

Maki is now on a winning streak since losing the Bellator featherweight title and his undefeated record to Brazil’s Patricio Freire back in April. This was also his second fight at 155 pounds, as he was coming off a successful lightweight debut in October against Spike Carlisle.

And with the defeat, de Souza saw his five-game winning streak come to an end. Prior to the event, de Souza had only faced one professional defeat, which came in 2019 against former UFC fighter Johnny Case.

The official results for Rizin vs. Bellator include:

For more card information, visit Junkie’s MMA Events Center Rizin FF 40: Rizin vs. Bellator.

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