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Kyoji Horiguchi says he (not Sergio Pettis) is the real Bellator Bantamweight champion

Bellator MMA

Kyoji Horiguchi will attempt to dethrone current Bellator Bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis when the two tango in the main event of Bellator 272 on Dec. 3, 2021 in what will “The Phenom’s” first title defense.

Being the Bellator champion isn’t anything new for Horiguchi, who won the title back in 2019 by defeating Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222. He didn’t get to do much with the title, though, because he was forced to vacate the title after he tore his ACL.

Now he is on a mission to get back the Bellator belt he never lost in a fight. That’s why he considers himself the real Bellator champion, not Pettis.

“Of course, he’s a good fighter. But I think I’m the real champion – more than him, you know? So I will show up in that fight,” Horiguchi told

Though Horiguchi did bounce back nicely by winning the RIZIN 135 belt for the second time — a title he currently has — getting back the Bellator belt is priority number one, which is why he signed with the promotion.

“I need the belt back first, so that’s why I don’t want to go to the UFC or somewhere else, you know. That’s why I decided [to go] with Bellator.”

As for Pettis, he became the 135-pound king by defeating Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258, his fourth win in a row, third with the Viacom-owned promotion. Having not tasted defeat in three years, Pettis is starting to carve out his own legacy in MMA and a win over a longtime veteran and champion like Horiguchi would be a nice notch on his belt...pun intended.

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