Last week it was announced that Rena will be joining Kyoji Horiguchi on the Bellator 222 card from Madison Square Garden.
Rena will face Lindsey Vanzandt at a catchweight of 112 pounds, a much more natural weight for the 27 year old who has struggled to reach 108 pounds in Rizin. This match up will give Rena a great opportunity to perform in front of an international audience and showcase her technical, aggressive brand of striking that made her so dominant in shootboxing, as well as being such a fan favourite in Rizin.
Higher up the card, Horiguchi will look to prove that he is the best bantamweight fighter in the world when he takes on Darrion Caldwell for Bellator’s bantamweight title. While this claim might seem somewhat hyperbolic, Horiguchi has looked magnificent since joining Rizin, and his time in Florida has forged a hugely improved fighter than the 24 year old that fought Demetrious Johnson four years ago. Over in the UFC, TJ Dillishaw is out for two years, giving Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes the chance to fight for his title next month amid rumours of the collapse of the flyweight division. If that happens and more smaller fighters start moving over to ONE and Rizin, maybe perceptions will begin to meet the reality that this part of the world is where the highest levels of competition lie in the lower weight classes.
Stay tuned for news and updates for the card which takes place on June 14th.