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Kyoji Horiguchi signs with Bellator MMA after vacating RIZIN bantamweight title

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Just a few days after vacating the RIZIN Bantamweight title and announcing his free agency, Kyoji Horoguchi has found a new home. Well, it’s return of sorts as the dominate 135-pound fighter has re-signed a deal to compete for Bellator MMA.

Horiguchi won the RIZIN title in December 2018 only to vacate it due to injury. He then went on to win the division title for Bellator six months later by defeating Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222. He once again vacated the title due to another injury. 18 months later, “The Supernova” was champion once more after winning the RIZIN title a second time with a win over Kai Asakura.

Horiguchi — who failed to win the UFC Flyweight title against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 186 — now joins a stacked 135-pound division under the Bellator MMA banner which is now spearheaded by Sergio Pettis, who won the title with a dominant win over Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258.

While there is no current timetable for Horiguchi’s next fight, there have been talks of Bellator staging a Bantamweight Grand Prix sometime in early 2022 once the promotion concludes its Light Heavyweight tournament. Should that come to pass, Horiguchi will obviously be one of the big favorites to reach the finals.

Of course, that’s assuming Scott Coker and Co. don’t give him an immediate shot at Pettis, first.


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