Horiguchi, Rena on point ahead of Bellator 222
Kyoji Horiguchi rematches Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222 in New York tonight (local time). Both men came in comfortably under the 135lbs limit with the Rizin champion weighing 134.4lbs and the Bellator title holder 134.6lbs.
The two first fought at Rizin 14 in a bout that had Horiguchi’s title on the line. The Japanese fighter prevailed with a third round submission.
Second time around the action will take place in the Bellator cage, not the Rizin ring, and Caldwell’s title will be up for grabs. This will be the Japanese fighters first bout on U.S. soil since 2015..
Also on the card is Rizin veteran Rena Kubota who faces Lindsay VanZandt in a catchweight contest. The Japanese fighter is making her U.S. debut and came in at 111.2lbs while her opponent tipped the scales at 111.4lbs.
The event at Madison Square Garden will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie. The UFC veteran from Canada came in at 169.4lbs while the Brazilian submission specialist was slightly heavier weighing 169.8lbs.
Two veterans will also face off in the co-main event. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida faces Chael Sonnen in a light heavyweight contest and the karate specialist weighed in at 204.4lbs while the trash talking American came in at 205.6lbs, which is acceptable for a non title bout.
Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara was also in New York to accompany Rena and Horiguchi. He has spoken about the possibility of future cross promotions with Bellator and mentioned Hawaii as a possible location, due to it’s proximity to the U.S. and Japan.