Welp, at least Rizin has Kyoji Horiguchi. Let’s not forget to give all the props to Darrion Caldwell for traveling to Japan to make a super-fight.
This was Rizin at it’s best. This was MMA at it’s best. The great big, wide world of MMA was meant for co-promotion. The sport will always be too big to have all the best fighters under one promotion.
Sorry, UFC stans we know this cracks your soul right down the middle.
The sport is more fun when UFC sends fighters over to Pride, Strikeforce works with Dream or when Bellator sends one of their best fighters to Rizin.
On New Year’s Eve in Japan, Bellator froze Darrion Caldwell in carbonite and shipped him by sea to Japan. Caldwell, Bellator’s 135 pound king, was then matched up with Kyoji Horiguchi. Since moving to Rizin from the UFC, The Gooch has become a local legend in Japan.
This was a high stakes gamble for both promotions and in the end, the winner was the fans. Rizin needed this badly. Especially after Floyd Mayweather robbed the promotion with their pants down later in the night.
For two rounds the bigger, stronger, faster, probably more athletic Caldwell kind of punked Horiguchi. The former NCAA wrestler just bullied the JMMA hero with his takedowns and grappling edge. For Rizin it didn’t look good.
Then the third round hit and with his 10 fight winning streak hanging in the balance, Horiguchi pulled a rabbit (bumble bee) out of his hat. Killer bees on the track, Kyoji just made you tap.
Protect ya neck Caldwell and respect to Kyoji Horiguchi for submitting a Bellator champion in Japan.