Former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi has looked absolutely unstoppable since parting ways with the promotion, rattling off five-straight victories in the Rizin Fighting Federation ring — many of which have come against significantly larger foes.
Of all the wins Horiguchi has authored under the Rizin banner, none were quite as impressive as his last, in which he knocked out fellow UFC veteran Ian McCall in a mere nine seconds. This win over McCall was so impressive that many fans began to call for a rematch between Horiguchi and UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
Horiguchi and Johnson first met in April of 2015, when the Japanese talent was just 24 years old. On that night, Johnson was the better man, out-fighting his young challenger for the bout’s duration, and ultimately submitting him with one second remaining in the fifth and final round.
While he is currently under contract with Rizin, Horiguchi has heard the buzz about a potential rematch between himself and the UFC flyweight champ, and is absolutely interested in making it happen. In fact, he hopes it happens in the “very near future.”
Horiguchi discussed a potential rematch with Johnson on the latest stacked episode of BJPENN.COM Radio.
“Of course, I wish to face Demetrious Johnson, [in the] very near future,” Horiguchi said through his translator. “As long as the future permits. I think it’s more [up to the] UFC.”
While Horiguchi is keen to rematch Johnson in the near future, he’s currently happy as a member of the Rizin roster. The Japanese promotion continues to throw interesting challenges his way, and it looks like that trend will continue, as he’s expected to partake in a Rizin kickboxing tournament later this year.
I was just told that @rizin_PR is rumored to be booking @kyoji1012 for their kickboxing Grand Prix in September. Ideally leading to Kyoji facing @TenshinNasukawa at some point in the bracket. That would be INSANE! @bjpenndotcom @bjpennradio #RIZIN #TheFightersVoice
— Kinch (@KinchMMA) May 10, 2018
“Rizin still [knows the] value of Kyoji, but UFC never [did],” Horiguchi’s translator said. “That’s why, even, when he made a decision to move to Rizin, we got an offer from UFC. It was not a fair value from our point of view, Rizin did a better evaluation of Kyoji.”
“I’m going to win at [Rizin’s next event], Rizin 11, and we’re not confirmed yet, but possibility is kickboxing match,” Horiguchi stated.
Do you think we’ll ever see a rematch between Kyoji Horiguchi and Demetrious Johnson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/10/2018.