Earlier today, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara confirmed on signing of Kyoji Horiguchi via twitter.
Sakakibara wrote, “The contract with Horiguchi is done. ‘The Major Leaguer of MMA’ is coming back to Japan. And he will be fighting in RIZIN. The first fight is going to be in April, at Yokohama Arena. Horiguchi is coming to Japan on 22nd. In the same timing, we will be announcing his opponent!”
Horiguchi went 7-1 in the UFC. The only loss was a title fight against the current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Horiguchi was done with UFC contract after defeating Ali Baugautinov via unanimous decision in November.
According to Horiguchi’s management, the offer he received from UFC was just not “acceptable” therefore chose to become free agent.
Apparently, Horiguchi met Sakakibara at the Bellator MMA show held in San Jose this past weekend and deal was sealed relatively quickly.
RIZIN 2017 IN YOKOHAMA
Sunday, April 16th, 2017
At Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 15:00
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD)
RENA (Japan / Cesar Gym)
Kizaemon Saiga (Japan / Me, We)
Teshin Nasukawa (Japan / Team Tenshin)
report by Shu Hirata
photo courtesy of RIZIN FF