Brazilians love beef and the animosity between Koike Kleber and the Pitbull brothers exploded into an angry altercation at the Saitama Super Arena yesterday. We haven’t heard the former’s side of the story yet but it sounds like he wasn’t on his best behaviour at Super Rizin 2.
Koike supposedly celebrated when Chihiro Suzuki knocked out Patricio Freire. This wasn’t very patriotic but he was within his rights to support the Rizin fighter.
Koike probably had an ulterior motive for celebrating. He submitted Suzuki at Rizin 43 and probably felt that the result reflected well on him a fighter.
But Patricio claims Koike’s antics went well beyond a potentially provocative celebration:
Kleber Koike is a dirt loser and a coward. He celebrated my loss and argued with my brother after the fight. Later he invaded our locker room, kicked @PatrickyPitbull from behind and run away. @rizin_PR a fighter like this should never enter your ring again. @BellatorMMA
— Patricio Pitbull (@PatricioPitbull) July 30, 2023
The most serious allegation is that,
He invaded our locker room and kicked Patricky Freire from behind and ran away.
He wants Kleber banned from Rizin. Of course Freire has already beaten his fellow Brazilian once, overwhelming him with a decision win at Bellator X Rizin 1.
It isn’t clear where the animosity stems from. Kleber’s stock with Rizin is not particularly high at the moment as he missed weight ahead of his last fight, he was stripped of his title and saw the submission win over Suzuki changed to a no contest as a result.
Rizin clearly values the relationship with Bellator and could decide to take some sort of disciplinary action against Kleber. But another option would be to embrace the rivalry and potentially look to match Kleber with a different Freire in future.
𝑰𝑻'𝑺 𝑶𝑽𝑬𝑹! 🔥
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 30, 2023
While Kleber’s connection to Suzuki is somewhat tenuous Patricky Freire did knock out his friend and teammate Roberto de Souza at Bellator X Rizin 1. This happened a few hours prior to the altercation between the two factions.
So the ‘Pitbull brothers’ clearly seem to be getting the better of this rivalry. It seems like a bad argument for Kleber to have embroiled himself in although, of course, we are yet to hear the former Rizin featherweight champion’s side of the story.
With Bellator and Rizin set to join forces for events every six months or so we surely haven’t heard the last of this story. Japanese fans who remember the rivalry between Chute Box and Brazilian Top team will surely be grateful for a more modern serving of Brazilian beef!