After blasting through the 2017 Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix to capture bantamweight gold, former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi now has another momentous challenge to look forward to: a battle with fellow UFC veteran Ian McCall. The pair will collide in Fukuoka, Japan on May 6.
McCall announced this awesome booking on his official Instagram account.
“It’s official,” McCall said in his post. “May 6th I’m headed back to japan. We have some unfinished business. I’m honored to fight [Kyoji Horiguchi] and prove I’m the best fighter in the division.”
Both Horiguchi and McCall were entrants in the 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix. Unfortunately, McCall was eliminated in the first round, suffering a bizarre, ring-rope-induced injury in a bout with the polarizing Manel Kape. This marked the latest SNAFU in a long string of unlucky breaks for McCall. “Uncle Creepy” has not won a fight since 2014, when he defeated Brad Pickett by decision. That said, he remains a top talent, and currently owns a 13-6-1 overall record.
Horiguchi, meanwhile, realized much more favorable results in the bantamweight Grand Prix, knockout out Hideo Tokoro and Gabriel Oliveira and submitting Manel Kape to earn a spot in the finals, and knocking out Shintaro Ishiwatari to win the whole shebang. The Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto protege and current American Top Team staple has not lost a fight since he came up short to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in April of 2015. He’s 23-2 overall.
Who do you think comes out on top in this compelling showdown between Kyoji Horiguchi and Ian McCall?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/13/2018.