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UFC Rotterdam’s Fighter to Watch: Kyoji Horiguchi

Steven Cavagnino

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To the dismay of many, the flyweight class is one that has not yet captured the hearts of mainstream MMA fans. History has shown that the casual spectator is simply not interested in watching men who are 50 pounds lighter than they are battle it out inside the ring or cage. The equation hasn’t changed since the days before the UFC came to be and boxing reigned supreme: heavyweights sell fights. The numbers support that claim today, even though it’s a different sport and a different generation. Generally speaking, the lighter weight classes simply do not get the same amount of attention as the big boys do. Of course, there are outliers in every situation, but when discussing the flyweight division specifically, there is really only one man that the majority of fans might know and that is the flyweight champ, Demetrious Johnson.

What the flyweights have in abundance is technique, finesse, and skill. What they don’t have are stars that can carry an event with just their name or reputation. There is a fighter, however, who has the potential to be a star in both the flyweight division and the sport of MMA as a whole. That man is former title challenger and 16-2 flyweight, Kyoji Horiguchi. Huh? The guy Mighty Mouse submitted with 1 second left in the fight? Yes, the very same. Horiguchi is the kind of fighter who can very quickly find himself in the public eye and entice all kinds of fans to watch him and continue to watch him. He’s unorthodox in his technique, unique in his approach, mentored by one of the pioneers of the lighter classes, and (perhaps most importantly) has the KO power to make fans stand up from their seats!

Horiguchi started training karate at a young age and shortly after began competing in full contact tournaments in which he became a regional champion. Like so many modern day MMA competitors, Horiguchi saw a PRIDE tournament in his adolescent years and it stuck with him. At age 18, with a decade’s worth of karate competition under his belt, Horiguchi began training MMA as a member of the famed Japanese camp, Krazy Bee Gym.

It wasn’t long before Horiguchi was fighting the best Japan had to offer, and after that, the UFC came calling. Horiguchi is known to be one of the very few KO artists in the flyweight division. Now that John Lineker is up at 135 pounds, Horiguchi might have the most one-punch knockout power in the entire 125-pound division. Although he already has a loss to the champ (at this point, who doesn’t?) Horiguchi is young, hungry, and has won 4 of his last 5 bouts. Horiguchi’s title shot was premature, not that he wasn’t deserving, just that he simply was not ready for the monster that is Demetrious Johnson.

This weekend, at UFC Rotterdam, Horiguchi is set to face Neil Seery, a perennial Irish favorite and one known for his toughness. It’s a fantastic matchup for Horiguchi as he is facing a man who will stand and trade with him in the pocket. Both of Horiguchi’s losses have come by way of being out grappled, but there is a very slim chance of that happening with a fighter like Neil Seery. Seery has also never been KO’d before but if anyone can do it, it’s Kyoji Horiguchi. Don’t blink while watching this one, despite his light weight, Kyoji Horiguchi brings heavy hands and heavier action.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results

Harry Davies

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The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.

Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.

Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.


MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST

  • Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
    • Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
  • Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
    • ResultOskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

(more…)

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator

Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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