Tofiq Musaev claimed the RIZIN lightweight grand prix title after two wins on the RIZIN 20 card over Patricky Pitbull and Johnny Case on Tuesday in Saitama, Japan.
Speaking after having the title wrapped around his waist, Musaev dedicated his title capture to his home country, Azerbaijan.
“Today is a very special day, it is the president’s birthday. To the Japanese fans, thank you for everything,” he told the Saitama crowd.
Musaev dropped Pitbull twice in their clash, in the first round and the third round. The Brazilian Bellator lightweight seemed to run out of steam quicker than his counterpart, despite dispatching his first opponent of the night in less than thirty seconds.
When a clean shot dropped him to his back in the third round with two minutes left on the clock, Pitbull seemed labored as he attempted to get back to his feet. The Brazilian may have suffered a shoulder injury in the second round when he was sent hurtling out of the cage on the back of a Musaev takedown.
Pitbull made short work of fellow Brazilian Luiz Gustavo to force his way into the final. The Bellator fighter swarmed Gustavo after introducing him to the canvas early on. No sooner than he was up, Gustavo was back down on the ground again, eating shots before a final soccer kick brought a stop to the action.
Musaev booked his place in the final with a first round finish of former UFC fighter Johnny Case. Case reacted well to being rattled at the midway point of the round, taking Museav to the ground briefly. However, once back to his feet, the Azerbaijani fighter put him down again before the referee stepped into stop the contest.