Bellator MMA will send Gadzhi Rabadanov to Japan for New Year’s Eve.
Rabadanov has been added to the special Bellator vs. Rizin event. The card takes place from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. He will meet Koji Takeda.
The main card airs live on Showtime beginning at 8 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve.
Rabadanov is ranked 10th in the Bellator lightweight division and is 18-4-2 overall. Takeda sports a 15-3 record overall.
Rabadanov, 29, signed with Bellator in 2021 after capturing the Eagle FC lightweight title, and has made an immediate impact on the promotion’s remarkably deep lightweight division.
He announced his arrival in thunderous fashion at Bellator 263 with an emphatic viral knockout of Daniel Carey, which he followed up with back-to-back dominant unanimous decision victories over Jay Jay Wilson and Bobby King in 2022.
The product of the renowned Club Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s School in Dagestan and the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy, Rabadanov’s pedigree is world-class.
“It is a childhood dream come true to fight in Japan at the legendary Saitama Super Arena,” said Rabadanov. “I’m very excited and I know I have a tough opponent, who always leaves everything in the ring. Expect a masterpiece from me, it will be a memorable fight.”
Takeda boasts a compelling case for inclusion on this historic fight card, winning seven of his last 10 and three of his last four outings under the Rizin and DEEP banners.
A former DEEP champion, he is also familiar with Bellator foes; he has previously fought Spike Carlyle and submitted Zach Zane by armbar, both of whom fought recently for the Scott Coker-led promotion.