Kyoji Horiguchi will go in search of his first Bellator win since 2019 this weekend. The Japanese fighter’s stock has fallen a long way since he held the promotion’s bantamweight title.

But Horiguchi is back in the division where he made his name fighting for the UFC. After a run at bantamweight which could only be described as highly successful he has returned to 125lbs.

At one stage Horiguchi held the Rizin and Bellator bantamweight belts and was on a 13 fight winning streak. But defeats to Sergio Pettis and Patchy Mix caused the 32 year old to have a rethink.

While his career at bantamweight might have stalled Horiguchi thinks he will always stand out from the competition at 125lbs,

“I’m the best flyweight in the world. I want to fight for Bellator at flyweight, so I hope they open this division.”

UFC veterans

He will be looking to become the inaugural Rizin flyweight champion but needs to get past another UFC veteran this weekend in Hawaii. Horiguchi faces Ray Borg and thinks he is a more diverse fighter than the American,

“I think he just has boxing and wrestling (but) I do everything. I’m better.”

These days Horiguchi is based permanently in the US. He fights out of American Top Team and thinks it has helped him to develop, even if recent results haven’t always gone his way,

“I think moving to America is better so that’s why (I moved). I trained with the ATT family. So, I’m ready to fight.”

Back to back

Horiguchi is coming off back to back wins on Rizin cards. But he lost his last two Bellator fights which has clearly damaged his allure in the US.

Horiguchi has fought on American soil three times since leaving the UFC and only has one win from these bouts. Bellator 295 might be taking place in Honolulu but it will be broadcast across the US on Showtime and the Japanese fighter wants to remind fans there what he is capable of.

For Horiguchi it won’t be enough to grind out a decision win. He wants to finish Borg in style and take the next step on a journey which he hopes will culminate in winning titles at flyweight,

“Of course, I want to finish him. It doesn’t matter, submission or KO, but I will finish him.”