Injured Kyoji Horiguchi returns Rizin and Bellator belts
Kyoji Horiguchi has returned both his Rizin and Bellator belts according to Nobuyuki Sakakibara. It leaves both promotions without a bantamweight champion.
The Rizin CEO broke the news on Twitter:
— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) November 28, 2019
Horiguchi will be out of action for at least 10 months after tearing the ACL and damaging the meniscus in his right knee. He had won 13 straight fights since leaving the UFC until the loss to Asakura at Rizin 18.
He won the Bellator 135lbs title after beating Darrion Caldwell for the second time. The American promotion now finds itself in need of a new bantamweight champion.
Bellator president Scott Coker guaranteed that Horiguchi would get to challenge for the belt once he was ready:
Gutted for @kyoji1012 about the injury he suffered to his knee, but in the true spirit of martial arts & being a true champion, he has elected to vacate his title & allow the division to move forward in his absence. After fully healing, we plan to give him an immediate title shot pic.twitter.com/3Cw96owz7F
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) November 27, 2019