Bellator 222 pre-event facts: Kyoji Horiguchi looks for historic cross-promotion champ status

One of the most significant cards in Bellator history takes place on Friday with Bellator 222. The event goes down at Madison Square Garden in New York and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

The main event of the card has incredibly high stakes. Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1-1 BMMA) meets Neiman Gracie (9-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) in a title fight that also doubles as a semifinal matchup for the Bellator welterweight grand prix, with the winner set to advance to the $1 million final where Douglas Lima awaits.

In addition to the title/tournament bout, Bellator 222 also offers another title fight as well as a bevy of familiar names from the roster. For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 35 pre-event facts about Bellator 222.

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Main event

MacDonald competes for the second time in a 48-day stretch. He fought Jon Fitch to a draw at Bellator 220 on April 27.

MacDonald is 2-3-1 in his past six fights dating back to July 2015.

MacDonald vs. Fitch marked the first title fight in Bellator history to end in a draw.

Gracie to 6-0 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.

Gracie’s seven-fight Bellator winning streak in Bellator competition is the third longest active streak in the company behind A.J. McKee (14) and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (nine).

Gracie’s six-fight Bellator winning streak in welterweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Gracie has earned eight of his nine career victories by stoppage.

Gracie’s six submission victories in Bellator competition are tied for most in company history.

Gracie’s five submission victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.

Co-main event

Lyoto Machida (25-8 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) returns to the light heavyweight division for the first time since August 2013. He went 6-4 at middleweight.

Machida’s three-fight winning streak is his longest since he opened his career on a 16-0 run.

Machida is the only fighter in UFC history to absorb zero strikes in two main events. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 58 and UFC Fight Night 31.

Machida is the only fighter in UFC history to earn two knockout victories stemming from a front kick to the head. He accomplished the feat at UFC 224 and UFC 129.

Machida has earned 11 career victories against a fighter who once held a UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce or PRIDE title.

Chael Sonnen (30-16-1 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) returns to the light heavyweight division for the first time since June 2017 after a two-fight stint at heavyweight where he went 1-1.

Sonnen is 2-2 since he returned to competition from a more than three-year layoff in January 2017.

Remaining main card

Darrion Caldwell (13-2 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) is one of two Bellator bantamweight titleholders to record a successful title defense. Eduardo Dantas also accomplished the feat.

Caldwell’s three-fight Bellator winning streak in bantamweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Caldwell has earned five submission victories in Bellator competition. The company record is six, which is currently shared by six different fighters.

Caldwell’s three submission victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), the current Rizin FF bantamweight champion, can become the first fighter in history to earn Bellator and Rizin FF title.

Horiguchi can become the first fighter in history to hold titles from two major MMA organization simultaneously.

Horiguchi enters the event on a 12-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2015.

Horiguchi is 9-0 since his final UFC fight in November 2016. He’s earned seven of those wins by stoppage.

Eduardo Dantas’ (21-6 MMA, 11-3 BMMA) moves up to the featherweight division for the first time in his career.

Dantas’ 11 victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dantas’ five championship-fight victories in Bellator competition are tied for third most in company history behind Patricio Freire (seven) and Michael Chandler (six).

Dantas is one of eight fighters in Bellator history to become a two-time champion in a single weight class.

Dantas has earned his past five victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a stoppage.

Juan Archuleta (20-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) enters the event on a 17-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since March 2015 in what was his only career blemish.

Archuleta was a three-division champion under the King of the Cage banner, holding titles at lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight.

Archuleta returns to the featherweight division after a one-fight stint at bantamweight. He’s 8-0 in his career when fighting in the weight class.

For more on Bellator 222, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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