Kyoji Horiguchi accomplished many of his greatest feats as a smaller bantamweight against bigger, stronger opponents.
Though he previously held the Bellator and RIZIN bantamweight titles, the 32-year-old admits he’s always considered himself a flyweight, so he’s very happy to return to the division for his next bout against Hiromasa Ogikubo at New Years Eve. Year.
“Because normally my weight is very light for bantamweight,” Horiguchi said of his return to flyweight in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I can do flyweight very easily, which is why I am moving [there]and I also lost two in a row, and for that.
Horiguchi’s two Bellator losses came to Sergio Pettis and Patchy Mix in a pair of fights he could have easily won were it not for a few key mistakes.
The fight against Pettis was particularly galling, as Horiguchi was way ahead on the scorecards when he was caught with a spinning fist late in the fourth round, costing him the Bellator bantamweight title.
Although appreciating that both fights were competitive, Horiguchi didn’t register to come close to victory, ultimately walking away with a loss on his record.
“The last fight and the Sergio Pettis fight, I guess I did well, but a loss is a loss so I have to do something,” he said. “I also want to fight at flyweight. Flyweight is my weight class, I think. That’s why I go there.
As it stands, Horiguchi is signed to Bellator, a promotion that does not have a flyweight division. But he remains hopeful that this will change in the near future.
Horiguchi hasn’t had detailed discussions with Bellator, but he definitely plans to push for a 125-pound division.
“I hope so,” Horiguchi said of the addition of Bellator in a flyweight division. “I think so [I feel better at flyweight] because my weight is very, very light. Talk to [Bellator President Scott Coker] a little but not a deep conversation. I just said I want to flyweight, can you do it?
On the upcoming Bellator-RIZIN Japan card, Horiguchi looks to prove just how good he is at flyweight in a fight against his old foe in Ogikubo. He already has two wins over the veteran in two previous bouts, but has no problem signing up for a third fight, especially with the prospect of competing close to his home in Japan on a card as big as this New Year’s Eve.
“I’m still happy about the fight,” Horiguchi said of the match. “I think now he is a different fighter. I have to be a little careful with him.
“Mixed martial arts are very common in Japan. New Year’s Eve events are huge here and it’s always special.