Kyoji Horiguchi held the Rizin and Bellator bantamweight titles. It is an impressive haul for a man who maintains he was competing in the wrong division all along.

Horiguchi is back at 125lbs and looking to win a Bellator title in a second weight class this weekend. He faces Makoto Shinryu at the Saitama Super Arena on Saturday and is adamant that flyweight has always been his natural territory,

“I’ve always known I belong at flyweight but I kept pushing myself at bantamweight,” he told Rizin Confessions.


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Harsh words

The belt will be on the line when he faces Makoto Shinryu at Rizin x Bellator 2. He will be representing the American promotion but it sounds like there is no love lost between the two Japanese fighters.

Horiguchi had some harsh words for Shinryu,

“The little brat needs to learn some manners. His fights are boring, so he needs to talk to gain attention. I’m going in there to do what i always do (and) he will find out the hard way.”

These days Horiguchi prepares for all his fights at American Top team. UFC veteran Mike Brown is the man who comes up with the game plan while he has been joined recently by compatriots Yuki Motoya and Juntarou Ushiku.

Very impressive

He looked very impressive at Bellator x Rizin 1. It was Horiguchi’s first time fighting at 125lbs since 2016 and he made short work of Hiromasa Ougikubo.

But just because Horiguchi looked good that night does not mean his upcoming assignment will automatically go smoothly. Horiguchi says there are no guarantees in the fight game,

“A fight is always different, things change. Just because my return to flyweight went well doesn’t guarantee I will perform as well in my second fight.”

The last man to beat Horiguchi at 125lbs was Demetrious Johnson. The former UFC flyweight champion and reigning ONE Championship flyweight champion is coming towards the end of his career and openly contemplating retirement.

Horiguchi is happy to be back at flyweight again and challenging for the inaugural Bellator belt. He wants to show fans that he is the best fighter in the world at 125lbs and thinks winning the title this weekend would be the best way to start,

“I want to prove I’m the best in the world.”