The bracket for Rizin Fighting Federation’s inaugural heavyweight grand prix tournament has another competitor as BAMMA heavyweight champion Mark Godbeer is heading to Japan in December. Sources close to the situation have confirmed the news with MMA Mad however wanted to remain anonymous as they were not at liberty to discuss the deal.
During the opening press conference for Rizin FF former Pride FC boss Nobuyui Sakakibara said the bouts will take place inside a ring under the former PRIDE rules. The grand prix will have promotional partners in Bellator MMA, KSW, Jungle Fight, BAMMA and King of Kings.
Bellator president Scott Coker stated that Bellator fighters will compete on the cards and it now looks like BAMMA fighters will do the same.
Godbeer (10-2 MMA) is riding a two fight winning streak under the BAMMA promotion. Following a loss to Cheick Kongo in Bellator, Godbeer returned to English soil to TKO Thomas Denham at BAMMA 19 to earn a heavyweight title shot against Paul Taylor at BAMMA 21. Godbeer was dominant in the title fight, forcing referee Marc Goddard to stop the contest at 4:43 of the second round.
Godbeer was scheduled to defend his BAMMA Heavyweight title at BAMMA 23: Night of Champions this weekend against Ruben Wolf however has now withdrawn to compete at Rizin FF in December. Ruben Wolf will now take on Thomas Denham for the interim BAMMA World Heavyweight title.
The opening round of Rizin’s heavyweight grand prix will be contested during the first of the company’s events on Dec. 29, with the semifinals and finals taking place on New Year’s Eve. The winner of the bracket takes home a grand prize of $500,000.Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Adam Milstead & Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva