Spike Carlyle’s dream of fighting in Japan came true, and he couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
Carlyle, a former UFC and Bellator veteran, was victorious in his promotional debut at Rizin FF 35 after putting Koji Takeda to sleep with a guillotine choke Sunday at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo.
Carlyle’s move was slick and so tight as Takeda had no way to escape in the second round once the choke was locked in. Once the referee stopped the fight, “The Alpha Ginger” gave his opponent a kiss and rubbed his forehead as he broke the hold. He then appeared to pray as officials tended to Takeda.
You can watch he finishing sequence in the video below (via Twitter):
Spike Carlyle (@AlphaGingermma) puts Takeda out with a guillotine in Round 2️⃣.
【#RIZIN35 | Watch on @livenowglobal→https://t.co/6gKrHxMVSe】 pic.twitter.com/53rkQjfXE3
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) April 17, 2022
For Carlyle, 28, the submission marked his fifth consecutive win following a three-fight UFC stint that ended in November 2020 after back-to-back losses. Prior to Rizin FF 35, Carlyle competed for Bellator this past December, defeating Dan Moret with an improbable rear-naked choke at Bellator 272.
After that win, Carlyle (14-3) was open about his desire to fight in Japan but didn’t shut the door completely on Bellator.
“My heart has always been set for Japan, for Rizin,” Carlyle said. “It would be an amazing thing to win a belt in Japan and come over to Bellator and compete for the world title here, as well. …
“I’ll go wherever the good Lord takes me.”