Returning to featherweight after a dominant win over RIZIN lightweight Yusuke Yachi, former star of The Outsider, Mikuru Asakura (11-1, 1NC) will look to continue the hot streak he and his brother are on as of late. He faces Nova Uniao wildman John Teixeira (23-4-2) in a should-be stand-up war. Top-ranked bantamweight and former DEEP champion Yuki Motoya (23-7, 1NC) draws an unbeaten American in Patrick Mix (12-0) of JacksonWink MMA.
Asakura is a fantastic 5-0 since signing with RIZIN, and he has fast become one of the biggest stars in Japanese mixed martial arts. In two of his first three bouts in the promotion, Mikuru Asakura picked up vicious knockouts against Shooto legends Hatsu Hioki and Takeshi Inoue, by way of nasty headkick and a wild flying-knee respectively. In his two 2019 outings, Asakura bested Luiz Gustavo and Yusuke Yachi in stand-up firefights.
A true gatekeeper of Bellator’s featherweight division, John Teixeira is not an easy out for anybody. He has found great success utilizing a crisp striking game beautifully along with a solid enough ground game to win 23 of his 29 professional bouts. Despite a rough 2017 – 2018, Teixeira is a perfect 2-0 in 2019. This includes a dominant win over Kevin Croom and a TKO win over Ashleigh Grimshaw after opening up numerous fight-ending facial lacerations on the Englishman.
A longtime top-talent in Japan, Yuki Motoya has held the bantamweight and flyweight titles in DEEP. His RIZIN run thus far consists of a loss to Kyoji Horiguchi, and sick submission wins over Kazuma Sone and Justin Scoggins. Earlier this year at RIZIN 17, Motoya dropped a split decision to Shooto title-holder Hiromasa Ogikubo in an incredible Fight of the Year contender. Before this, the 30-year-old lost his DEEP bantamweight title by losing to Victor Henry. Having not won since RIZIN 14, which happened exactly one year before his upcoming bout against Mix, Yuki Motoya is in desperate search of a win on December 31.
Patricky “Patchy” Mix has fast become one of Bellator’s best prospects at bantamweight. The man who previously held that title was, probably, Ricky Bandejas. The man then-King of the Cage champion Patrick Mix submitted in just over a minute to make good on his Bellator debut earlier this year. Following that performance up, “Patchy” returned last month and took out Isaiah Chapman with an ultra-rare Suloev Stretch in the opening round. Now, he gets his biggest test to date in the form of Yuki Motoya.
RIZIN 20 goes down on December 31, as tradition, from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The card will feature a fantastic atomweight title fight between champion Ayaka Hamasaki and Seo Hee Ham, as well as the final round of the RIZIN Lightweight Grand-Prix that includes Patricky Freire, Tofiq Musaev, Johnny Case, and Luiz Gustavo.