Scott Coker announces Bellator signing of former champion Kyoji Horiguchi to bantamweight division

By MMA Junkie Staff

One of the most exciting fighters in the game today, who recently became a free agent, wasn’t on the market for long.

On Thursday evening, Bellator president Scott Coker announced the promotion has signed Kyoji Horiguchi to compete in the bantamweight division, ending his short free agent status, and scooping up one of the hottest fighters on the planet.

Coker released the following statement via Twitter:

We have signed former @BellatorMMA Bantamweight World Champion @Kyoji1012 Horiguchi and I can’t wait to see him compete in our stacked bantamweight division.

Horiguchi (29-3 MMA) once held the Bellator bantamweight title by defeating Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222 in a cross-promotional title bout with his former promotion, Rizin FF. Coker previously stated he wanted to work with Horiguchi again since the title was never defended.

During his tenure with Rizin, Horiguchi amassed a record of 10-1 in MMA competition, while also competing in a showcase kickboxing match against Tenshin Nasukawa. He also claimed the bantamweight title with the promotion by defeating Kai Asakura at Rizin 26.

Horiguchi made waves during his UFC tenure as a bantamweight and flyweight fighter, putting together a record of 7-1, which included a title shot against then-champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 186.

The current Bellator bantamweight champion is Sergio Pettis, who Horiguchi has already expressed interest in fighting in hopes of reclaiming the title that he relinquished in 2019.

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