Kyoji Horiguchi is the Rizin flyweight champion. He submitted Makoto Takahashi late in the second round at the Saitama Super Arena tonight, finishing the younger man with a rear naked choke.

The first fight between them ended in a no contest and Horiguchi accused Takahashi of quitting. The latter refused the offer of a glove touch at the start of the fight which headlined Rizin 45.

Takahashi controlled the opening round, scoring an early takedown and securing top position. Horiguchi was very active from his back and threatened with guillotine chokes.

Takahashi moved into half guard but Horiguchi worked his way back up. He took the UFC veteran’s back from a standing position and took him down again just before the bell.

Inaugural champion

Horiguchi showed more intent at the start of the second and landed a straight right, left hook combo. Takahashi tumbled backwards and the former Rizin bantamweight champion immediately looked to land a soccer kick.

Horiguchi took him to the ground with a trip but Takahashi reversed the position and briefly had mount. The veteran was able to establish guard and looked to sink in another guillotine choke.

He worked his way back up and threw another flurry of punches but missed with a wild looping shot that allowed Takahashi to grab a hold of him. A brief scramble ensued and Horiguchi eventually executed a trip and landed in half guard.

Takahashi gave up his back trying to escape and Horiguchi immediately locked in a rear naked choke. He secured a body lock and the tap was inevitable, coming at the 4:54 mark.

With the win Horiguchi improves to 32-5-0-1 and wins the Rizin flyweight title. Takahashi drops to 16-2-1-1.

Best of the rest

Kai Asakura finally became the Rizin bantamweight champion at the third attempt. The bout with Juan Archuleta was in doubt because the American missed weight.

The title was on the line for Asakura and he claimed it with a second round stoppage. A knee to the body hurt the former champion and he followed up with a barrage of punches to get the stoppage at the 3:20 mark.

Asakura improves to 21-4 and finally claims the Rizin bantamweight champion, having now beaten every single fighter to have ever held the belt. Archuleta drops to 29-5.

Rizin 45, Tokyo, December 31st
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Makoto Takahashi via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 3:54 of R2
Kai Asakura def. Juan Archuleta via TKO (Knee to the body and punches)at 3:20 of R2
Kleber Koike Erbst def. Yutaka Saito via Technical Submission (Brabo Choke) at 1:22 of R3
Ren Hiramoto def. Ya-Man via Decision (Unanimous)
Seika Izawa def. Miyuu Yamamoto via Submission (Rear-naked choke) at 0:37 of R2
Mikio Ueda def. Tsuyoshi Sudario via TKO (Knee and punches) at 0:55 of R2
Hiromasa Ougikubo def. John Dodson via Decision (Unanimous)
Vince Morales def. Yuki Motoya via Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
Shinobu Ota def. Ryusei Ashizawa via KO (Punches) at 2:21 of R1
Kouzi def. Kota Miura via TKO (Pnches and soccer kicks) at 0:59 of R2
Igor Tanabe def. Shinsho Anzai via Technical submission (Rear-naked choke) at 1:32 of R1
Hiroya Kondo def. Jo Arai via TKO (Head kick and punches) at 2:53 of R2
Yuta Kubo def. Rukiya Anpo via Submission (Rear-naked choke) at 4:28 of R1
Suguru Nii def. Japan Satoshi Yamasu via KO (Punch) at 1:03 of R2
Kickboxing: Tatsuki Shinotsuka def. Daichi Tomizawa via Decision (Unanimous)
Kickboxing: Ryujin Nasukawa def. Shin Jong-Min via TKO (Punches) at 2:16 of R1
Joe Hiramoto def. Yushi via Decision (Unanimous)