Kyoji Horiguchi Relinquishes Bellator and RIZIN Belts Due to Injury

Kyoji Horiguchi
Fernando Quiles Jr., MMA News

It has been announced Wednesday morning that Kyoji Horiguchi has relinquished both his Bellator and Rizin championship belts due to injury.

Kyoji Horiguchi had to undergo surgery after tearing his ACL and, as a result, is relinquishing the Bellator championship that he won in June. It was reported two weeks ago that Horiguchi was pulling out of RIZIN 20 due to this same injury. He is now relinquishing the RIZIN bantamweight championship as well as Bellator’s.

Kyoji Horiguchi defeated Darrion Caldwell by unanimous decision at Bellator 222 to become a dual promotion champion. Horiguchi has been the RIZIN bantamweight champion since July of 2018, also by defeating Darrion Caldwell, that time by a guillotine choke. With the belt now vacated, the promotion will look to book a bantamweight championship bout in the near future between participants to be determined.

“I feel terrible for Kyoji [Horiguchi] about the injury he suffered to his knee, but in the true spirit of martial arts and being a true champion, he has elected to vacate his title and allow the division to move forward in his absence,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “After fully healing, we plan to give Kyoji an immediate title shot.”

In his most recent bout, Kyoji Horiguchi was knocked out by Kai Asakura in a nontitle bout at RIZIN 18, bringing his MMA record to 28-3.

There is currently no timetable for when Horiguchi will return.