There is a strong argument to be made that Kyoji Horiguchi is the best fighter not currently signed to the UFC. He now has the chance to return to this promotion though, after vacating the Rizin bantamweight title to test free agency.
In his 8 fights in the UFC, Horiguchi fought the best in the world at flyweight, with his only loss in the promotion being to Demetrious Johnson. After leaving the promotion in 2017, he signed with Rizin where he has won 11 of his 13 bouts, even beating Bellator champions along the way.
Now it seems that he has a ton of options laid out in front of him. Speaking in a recent interview, Kyoji revealed that he has vacated his Rizin bantamweight title, and is currently testing the waters as a free agent.
“I’m a free agent right now,” Horiguchi said.
What’s Next For Kyoji Horiguchi?
With how popular Kyoji Horiguchi is in Japan, and the fact that he was Rizin’s champion, it is something of a surprise to see the promotion letting him go like this. However the door is now open for him to choose where he would like to go next, whether it be ONE Championship, a return to the UFC, or something else.
Kyoji suggested that he will be making the decision for his next move in the near future. While he did not give any hints on where he would go, he did suggest that he might want to return to Bellator to recapture the bantamweight title there, that he was unable to defend due to injury, and is now held by Sergio Pettis.
“(I want to fight) maybe (Sergio) Pettis, because I want to (get) back the belt, that’s why Pettis,” Horiguchi said.
While his reasoning for potentially going to Bellator is understandable, it is hard to not want to see Kyoji Horiguchi back in the UFC, taking on the best at bantamweight or returning to flyweight, now that he is in the prime of his career. Either way, it is going to be interesting to see where he goes next.