The current Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi has become the hottest free agent in some time.
After his departure from the UFC, he took his services to Asia where he was able to facilitate a very nice career. In fact, Horiguchi became the first fighter to hold two bantamweight belts simultaneously in two different promotions (Bellator & Rizin).
In 2018, Horiguchi represented Rizin against Bellator’s Darrion Caldwell. The first fight started fast, but Horiguchi made short work of Caldwell with an impressive guillotine choke in the first round. Then, won the Bellator bantamweight title off Caldwell but this time it was by decision in 2019.
After reaching such heights, the hard-hitting striker was forced to the sidelines due to a couple of injuries. With the time off came the relinquishment of both of his championship belts.
After both of his belts were relinquished, he came back in 2020 to reclaim his Rizin bantamweight belt with a vengeful victory over Kai Asakura with a first-round TKO. The Japanese native boasts a professional record of 29-3. Brimming with excitement after becoming a free agent, Horiguchi gave a brief statement indicating that he’s no longer under contract with any fighting promotions.
“I’m a free agent right now,” Horiguchi said on American Top Team’s “Punchin’ In” podcast.
It seems the 30-year old Japanese star has some options as he heads into free agency. With promotions like Bellator and Professional Fighting League (PFL) churning out fight shows on a near-weekly basis, there is no shortage of homes for fighters with pristine records.
Once Horiguchi was asked who he would like to fight next regardless of promotion he had an interesting foe in mind.
“Maybe Pettis because I want to return back the belt,” Horiguchi said. “That’s why Pettis,” Horiguchi concluded.
Perhaps if Bellator president Scott Coker and Horiguchi can iron out a deal in the near future, fans may get to see the fight Horiguchi desires. It would also give the Bellator promotion a chance to ‘get one back at Rizin’ in an odd way. While Horiguchi remains undecided, All Access MMA will keep you informed if/when he lands on his next move!
Where would you like to see Kyoji Horiguchi fight?