Just days after being released from the UFC roster, flyweight Kyoji Horiguchi has signed with Rizin FF. This comes as huge news to the Japanese promotion as they now have the highest ranked Japanese fighter under their banner with Horiguchi considered a national treasure.
UFC terms not acceptable for Kyoji Horiguchi
As expected, the UFC offered Horiguchi a new contract, but as we have often seen recently, the terms were deemed unacceptable by the Asian superstar. This news quickly follows a period which has seen welterweight star Lorenz Larkin axed due to an inability to agree on new terms.
What many people can’t believe is that the UFC is not ‘breaking the bank’ to keep a top-five contender in one of the weakest divisions in the promotion. Whether it is Dana White only focusing on the popular divisions or Horiguchi asking for unrealistic demands is unknown. What we know is that he is not the first to suffer the same fate and UFC are in danger of lessening its reputation.
Rizin will welcome Japanese mixed martial artist Horiguchi with open arms given his pedigree and track record. At just 26 years of age, we see a contender move from the UFC during the peak of their career as opposed to leaving when in decline.
Horiguchi expected to face Yuki Motoya
Earlier today MMAfighting.com broke the news that the Japanese superstar will make his debut on the April 16 against Yuki Motoya in Yokohama. Despite his impressive record, the clash with Motoya will be a far cry from the opponents “The Supernova” is used to facing.
Motoya will go into the bout with a record of 18-4 with one no contest in a match-up that will showcase two of the best fighters that Japan has to offer. Horiguchi will be looking to continue his impressive form after three consecutive victories following his defeat to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 186, whilst Motoya will be looking to carry on his incredible form having not lost since 2013, his last win over Allan Nascimento.
What will be interesting is how 27-year-old Motoya will fair with the weight, seeing as he is known as a bantamweight rather than a flyweight.