RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi is set to attempt to reclaim the title he never lost.
Bellator announced on Wednesday that their newest Bellator 135-pound champion in Sergio Pettis has his next challenger. Pettis will defend against the RIZIN titlist in Horiguchi on Dec. 3 at Bellator 272 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“It’s always a special event when you have a champion versus champion fight,” said Bellator President Scott Coker via press release. “I’m excited to have Sergio Pettis and Kyoji Horiguchi competing for the Bellator world championship on Dec. 3. Having a strong working relationship with RIZIN has led to many strong fights between our promotions and I foresee this continuing as we look ahead to 2022.”
Kyoji Horiguchi (29-3) returned from an ACL tear on Dec. 31, 2020, that forced him to vacate both his RIZIN and Bellator bantamweight crowns. In said return bout, he recaptured the former strap in a redemptive effort against Kai Asakura.
This past month it was announced that Horiguchi had officially joined the Bellator roster – while remaining the champion in RIZIN.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank Bellator and Scott Coker for providing our RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi the opportunity to challenge the Bellator championship,” said RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara. “I am very excited to say Horiguchi’s challenge is just the first step of what Bellator and RIZIN has planned. Bellator and RIZIN’s ambitious challenges and battles will begin from Dec. 3.”
Sergio Pettis (21-5) currently rides a four-fight winning streak that culminated with his crowning against Juan Archuletta in May. The younger Pettis brother, 28, went 9-4 in the UFC.
As of right now, only two other bouts are booked for the event as bantamweight Josh Hill and Jared Scoggins collide while Keoni Diggs takes on John de Jesus at featherweight.