Rizin FF vs. Bellator results: Juan Archuleta wins split decision after spectacular entrance

Former Bellator champ Juan Archuleta continued the momentum for his promotion at Saturday’s Rizin FF 40: Rizin vs. Bellator event.

Archuleta (27-4) made it 2-0 for Team Bellator in the head-to-head matchups with Rizin in the special cross-promotion event, taking a split decision over Soo Chul Kim (18-7-1) in the bantamweight matchup courtesy of his more effective striking and ground control.

The event took place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, near Tokyo. The main card airs on Showtime via tape delay at 9 p.m. ET.

After making a spectacular entrance to the ring, Archuleta started strong when he came out of gate firing hard punches. Kim tried to counter by jumping on a standing guillotine choke, but it ultimately ended up with the fight spilling to the ground, where he spent the majority of the round on his back. It got back to the feet late and Archuleta landing a punishing leg kick.

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Archuleta picked up where he left off in the second frame, landing crisp shots on the feet, including a nasty series of standing elbows from inside the clinch. He got back to top position where he dominated, as well, and Kim’s only moment of the round came during a striking exchange where he landed a leg kick that caught Archuleta’s attention.

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In the final round, Archuleta was confident as he threw his strikes. Kim got top position during a scramble, but referee Jason Herzog quickly stood them up. That allowed Archuleta to get back in his striking rhythm. The final minute saw Kim try to pounce on a front choke, but Archuleta stayed composed and survived to escape before the final bell.

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“I’m so emotional. I’m not going to lie,” Archuleta said in his post-fight interview. “All week it’s been draining on my soul, all you fans lifting me up to have the honor and the power and the strength to come here tonight.”

After a two-fight losing skid, Archuleta has now won back-to-back bouts after beating Enrique Barzola by decision at Bellator 286 in October.

Official Rizin vs. Bellator results include:

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Rizin FF 40: Rizin vs. Bellator.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie