One of Japan’s biggest MMA stars will be returning to Tokyo for Rizin 38. Kyoji Horiguchi is set to compete for the promotion for the first time since leaving to sign with Bellator nearly two years ago.

Horiguchi does not currently have an opponent but the news was confirmed by Nobuyuki Sakakibara just now:

Slow start

Horiguchi has yet to win a fight since signing with Bellator. His last win came at Rizin 26 in 2020 when he stopped Kai Asakura to reclaim the bantamweight belt he had been forced to vacate after suffering a serious knee injury.

Horiguchi was stopped by Sergio Pettis in the fourth round of a Bellator bantamweight title fight he appeared to be comfortably winning. He also dropped a decision to Patchy Mix during his recent stint competing in the US..

It feels like a long time ago he managed to hold the Rizin and Bellator titles simultaneously. Horiguchi relocated to American Top Team in Florida ahead of his switch to fighting in the US.

Bantamweight bout

The only fight currently confirmed for the Rizin 38 card is in the bantamweight division. Soo Chul Kim will take on Hiromasa Ougikubo in a battle between two fighters with plenty of belts.

Ougikubo (25-5-2) won the Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix last year. He beat Naoki Inoue and Kai Asakura in a single night to instantly establish himself as the top 135lber in Japan.

Kim (17-6-1) captured the Road FC featherweight title in his most recent bout. The Korean has also held the ONE Championship bantamweight belt and the Road FC bantamweight belt but has been relatively inactive in recent years.

Exhibition boxing

Rizin 38 is set for the Saitama Super Arena on September 15th. The exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Mikuru Asakura will take place the same day but on a separate card.

The card that features Floyd Mayweather will start at 12pm (local time) and be called Super Rizin. The event featuring Horiguchi, Ougikubo and Kim will start later in the day.

Rizin 38, Tokyo, September 25th
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. TBA (Bantamweight)
Soo Chul Kim vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo (Bantamweight)