Kyoji Horiguchi will probably not look back on 2021 with fond memories but he looks set to be busy next year. At Bellator 272 he returned after an 11 month absence only to be knocked out by Sergio Pettis.

It was Horiguchi’s first fight of the year, he had been out of action since Rizin 26 after running down his contract with the Japanese promotion and signing with Bellator. He will be one of eight fighters participating in a bantamweight Grand Prix in 2021.

It might be a few months before Horiguchi is medically cleared to fight but when he returns it looks set to be in the quarter finals of the Bellator bantamweight Grand Prix. Sergio Pettis is among the eight participants although it would be a surprise if an immediate rematch was ordered.

It looks set to be a very strong field. As well as Pettis (22-5) and Horiguchi (29-4) the Grand Prix will feature Juan Archuleta (25-3), Raufeon Stots (17-1), Patchy Mix (15-1), Magomed Magomedov (18-2), Leandro Higo (21-5) and James Gallagher (11-2).

There is the possibility that some of the fights could take place in Japan. But that will be dependent upon the country removing travel restrictions, at the moment foreign fighters are not able to enter.