Bellator Announces Huge News- Former RIZIN Champion Signs the Contract

Published 09/09/2021, 10:56 PM EDT


Former RIZIN champion Kyogi Horiguchi has ended his free agency and has found a home with Bellator MMA. Horiguchi recently relinquished his bantamweight RIZIN title and in a short span of time made the move to the US-based promotion. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker took to social media and announced the signing to the MMA community at large.

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Chiefly, Horiguchi subtly let it be known that he wanted to sign on with Bellator by talking about fighting their champion, Sergio Pettis. This was an obvious nod by the 29-3 fighter that he wants to test himself against the best bantamweights on the Bellator roster. His wish has come true, and he’s now set to begin yet another exciting chapter in his career.

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Kyogi Horiguchi: One of the best to do it

Hardcore fans of the sport would know that this isn’t the first time that Kyogi Horiguchi is fighting under the Bellator MMA banner. Back in 2019 at Bellator 222: MacDonald vs Gracie, he faced Darrion Caldwell in a cross-over fight. He was still under contract with RIZIN but was able to come over defeat Caldwell in a dominant display.

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The win further legitimized his standing amongst the very elite bantamweights of the world and it’s clear that he belongs. Not to mention, the Japanese fighter had a prolific run with the UFC that saw him go 7-1. His only loss came to arguably the best fighter of all time in Demetrious Johnson back in April 2015 at UFC 186.

After his uber-successful stints in the UFC and RIZIN, it’s only logical that Horiguchi tests his mettle in Bellator MMA. There are plenty of exciting fights to make apart from the one with the current champion, Sergio Pettis. Names like Juan Archuleta, Patchy Mix, Leandro Higo and Magomed Magomedov are just some viable opponents for his debut.

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Not to mention, former champion Darrion Caldwell who sits at number 10 in the rankings will want revenge against Horiguchi. All in all, the signing of the former RIZIN champion is set to be beneficial to both parties in the long-run.

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Darryl Pinto

1875 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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