Yuma Horiguchi was knocked out in the first round by Felipe Bunes at LFA 149 on Friday night (local time) in Arizona. The Japanese fighter squandered his opportunity to challenge for the flyweight title when he missed weight by 1.6lbs and the belt is now the property of the Brazilian.
Horiguchi submitted Juan Puerta at LFA 144 to get earn him a title fight with the Brazilian The Japanese fighter landed a kick to Bunes’s lead leg and moved in for the jab in the opening round.
But the Deep veteran got caught and dropped with a beautiful left hook from Bunes who swiftly pounced to drop hammer fists. The 33-year-old landed more than ten unanswered shots before the referee finally stepped in to save Horiguchi from further punishment.
The finish was only the second knockout win of Bunes’s career as he secured the belt in style and extended his record to 13-6. Horiuchi slips to 10-6 and will see this as a big missed opportunity.
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) January 7, 2023
Horiuchi challenged Charles Johnson for the interim flyweight title in 2021 and narrowly came up short. He dropped a split decision to the American who would go on to sign for the UFC.
Horiuchi racked up a six fight winning streak between 2014 and 2019. But he has now lost to five of his last fight, even if three of those losses have come by way of split decision.
The 25 year old has had no luck with the judges since moving to the US. But he can have no complaints about this defeat with Bunes beating him emphatically to claim the vacant belt.