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Knee injury forces Kyoji Horiguchi to vacate Bellator MMA bantamweight title

RIZIN.14 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Bellator MMA bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi (28-3), will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future after suffering a knee injury severe enough to require surgery. As a result, the Japanese dynamo has been forced to relinquish his title.

“I feel terrible for Kyoji about the injury he suffered to his knee, but in the true spirit of martial arts and being a true champion, he has elected to vacate his title and allow the division to move forward in his absence,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “After fully healing, we plan to give Kyoji an immediate title shot.”

It’s been a rough couple of months for Horiguchi, 29, who coughed up his RIZIN crown to Kai Asakura last August, a stunning upset that also snapped a 13-fight winning streak. The former UFC title contender last competed for Bellator MMA back in June, capturing a unanimous decision win over the venerable Darrion Caldwell.

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