Despite going 7-1 in the promotion, Kyoji Horiguchi has not been extended a new contract by the UFC. He has now signed with Rizin and will make his promotional debut on April 16 against Yuki Motoya. The card takes place at the Yokohama Arena in Japan.
Horiguchi signed with the UFC in 2013. At the time, he had built an 11-1 record and captured the Shooto bantamweight championship. In the UFC, he won his first four fights to earn a shot against Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title. After five hard rounds, Horiguchi fell via submission. Since that defeat, the Japanese fighter bounced back with three-straight wins over Chico Camus, Neil Seery and Ali Bagautinov.
Motoya holds an 18-4 record as a professional. In 2014, he defeated veteran Tatsumitsu Wada to claim the Deep flyweight title. He joined Rizin the following year. In his debut, he fall to Felipe Efrain. However, the promotion changed the loss to a “no contest” since Efrain missed weight. Motoya has since won three fights in a row. In his last fight, he defeated Allan Nascimento.
The April event is expected to feature several of the promotion’s regular competitors including Hideo Tokoro, Rena Kubota, Asen Yamamoto and Kanako Murata.