Kyoji Horiguchi


Defends title in lackluster affair
June 16, 2019
Horiguchi defeated Darrion Caldwell by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) at Bellator 22 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden.
Horiguchi submitted Caldwell in their first matchup last December under the banner of Rizin FF, and Friday's rematch completed the cross-promotion event. Despite Horiguchi being the visibly smaller fighter, he was able to emerge victorious yet again against Bellator's bantamweight champion. The size disadvantage only seemed to affect him in the first round, which pretty clearly went to Caldwell. While one judge awarded another round to Caldwell, it was all Horiguchi from there. By the time the championship rounds arrived, Caldwell appeared fatigued and his offensive wrestling began to fade with his stamina. It was a difficult fight to score due to constant stalemates on the mat, but in the end, the judges decided that it was Horiguchi getting the better of the grappling exchanges. While this wasn't the most fan-friendly fight, it sets an interesting precedent for future fights across promotions.
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Set for rematch at Bellator 222
April 29, 2019
Horiguchi will take on Darrion Caldwell on June 14 at Bellator 222.
The two are set for a rematch just six months after their first meeting, when Horiguchi defeated Caldwell via submission for the inaugural RIZIN bantamweight title in Japan. This time around, they'll meet again with a title on the line as Caldwell's Bellator bantamweight title will be up for grabs to the victor.
Picks up win under Rizin banner
April 16, 2017
Horiguchi defeated Yuki Montoya via unanimous decision at Rizin FF 5 on Sunday morning.
Horiguchi turned down a UFC deal to take his talents overseas, and the 26-year-old is already off to a good start. Few in this promotion should be able to compete with the talented American Top Team Product, who was 7-1 with the UFC before leaving the company.
Parts ways with UFC
February 20, 2017
Horiguchi, who recently turned down an extension offer from the UFC, has agreed to a deal to compete for Rizin, Ariel Helwani of reports.
The 26-year-old Horiguchi has been riding a three-fight winning streak in the UFC, and is 7-1 overall since joining the promotion in 2013 -- his only loss came to champion Demetrious Johnson. Rather than jump back on board with the UFC, he'll take his talents overseas to compete in the Japanese upstart. According to the report, he already has a fight booked against Yuki Motoya on April 16.
Edges Ali Bagautinov
November 19, 2016
Horiguchi defeated Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Bagautinov came out looking to wrestle. He used several clinches and takedowns to look solid in the first round. In the second round, Horiguchi defended against the clinch much better. The Japanese fighter landed some quality strikes before scoring his own takedown late in the round. He took the back with one hook and landed punches until Bagautinov got back to his feet with 20 seconds left in the round. In the final frame, almost the entire round took place on the feet. Horiguchi controlled the distance with his striking and pulled out the decision. He is now 3-0 since falling against Demetrious Johnson last year.
Kyoji Horiguchi: Easily dispatches Neil Seery in Rotterdam
May 8, 2016
Horiguchi defeated Neil Seery via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
As expected, the guy who fought for a title a little less than a year ago cruised past the aging veteran who is on his last legs. Horiguchi (-600) was the biggest favorite on the card and he showed exactly why. The Japanese star landed six takedowns and two knockdowns in the fight. A recent move to American Top Team in Florida has done wonders for Horiguchi. At age-25, he is among the best bets in the flyweight division to have sustained success moving forward.