The Rizin Lightweight Grand Prix is set to kick off next month at Rizin 19 and a random drawing was recently held to make the opening round pairings official.
In the opening round of the grand prix, it is going to be Tofiq Musaev facing UFC veteran Damien Brown, UFC veteran Johnny Case against Roberto Souza, Bellator MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull against UFC veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri and Luiz Gustavo against Hiroto Uesako.
Although it has yet to be announced, both the semi-finals and finals of the grand prix are expected to happen this December at Rizin 20 and Rizin 21.
Pitbull would comment on his first round pairing via Twitter:
I’m honored to face such a legend. Hope it’s a dream fight for the fans with all our pride on the line. I will be rising to the occasion! Look forward to it! @CRUSHER_MMA @BellatorMMA @ScottCoker @nobu_sakakibara @rizin_PR https://t.co/ofBcqTOLyy— Patricky Freire (@PatrickyPitbull) September 20, 2019
Rizin 19 takes place on Saturday, October 12 from the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on Fite TV.