Two months after winning the Rizin featherweight title with a
submission victory against Juntaro Ushiko, Kleber
Koike Erbst
came up short against Bellator featherweight champ
in a cross-promotional event this past December.

Even after that decision loss, Erbst emerged confident that he will
remain Rizin champion for a long time.

“Patricio is one of the best featherweights in MMA history, and
after fighting him for 15 minutes, I feel I can bring trouble to
any fighter in that division in the world,” Erbst told
shortly after that fight.

On Saturday, Erbst will defend his belt against Japanese kickboxing
ace Chihiro
at Rizin 43. The 24-year-old Suzuki has won five
straight bouts under the Rizin banner. Shortly after the Rizin 43
press conference, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt said that he
planned to finish Suzuki in the first round.

“He was talking too much trash at the press conference saying he
would prove his kickboxing is better than my jiu-jitsu and other
bulls—t,” Erbst said. “I just said that my goal is not talk but to
apply in the ring all I trained. I truly hope he comes aggressive
to knock me out fast as he promised. That will make my strategy

Erbst doesn’t understand why Suzuki is confident that he could
accomplish what Freire could not.

“The toughest featherweight in the sport was not able to knock me
out. It’s not Suzuki who will accomplish that,” he said.

The Rizin champion admitted that he was surprised to see Freire
lose to Sergio
in a bid to become a three-division Bellator champion
last week.

“I’m glad I didn’t bet any money on that because I could have lost
a lot since I was pretty sure Pitbull would win,” Erbst said.

Despite that loss, Erbst believes Freire should remain in the
bantamweight division.

“That´s a long process. Everything changes,” Erbst said. “He is
adapting himself to that new weight and six months is not enough
time for that. I have no doubt he will come back much better if he
does a second fight in that division.”

Erbst also revealed that Rizin is planning a historical event for
the end of the year.

“Pride times are back,” he said. “I don’t know details but I’ve
heard rumors and could see in the media some legends are already in
negotiation. Anderson
, Overeem, Buakaw, Masato. Can you imagine all those
legends together on Dec. 31? I just hope [Roberto
Satoshi de Souza
] and I can take part in that historical

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Kleber Koike Erbst Promises First-Round Finish in Title Defense at Rizin 43