Horiguchi began training in karate at the age of five and was talented, as he soon began competing in full-contact competitions and went on to become a regional champion. At the age of 16, Horiguchi viewed a PRIDE Fighting Championships event and became drawn to mixed martial arts. Horiguchi began training in mixed martial arts at the Krazy Bee Gym after graduating high school when he was 18 years old.
Mixed martial arts career
Horiguchi made his professional MMA debut in 2010, winning a decision over Ranki Kawana. Prior to this, Horiguchi was Bantamweight fighter, Norifumi Yamamoto‘s sparring partner. Just two fights later he would win the Shooto 2010 Rookie Tournament, finishing Seiji Akao by TKO early in the second round.
His biggest victory up to that time would come over the 2009 Rookie Tournament runner-up, Yuta Nezu. Horiguchi’s knockout power was on display early, knocking out Nezu in the first round. His nickname is The Typhoon.
Horiguchi took on the former Shooto Bantamweight Champion, Masakatsu Ueda on January 8, 2012. Ueda controlled most of the bout with his superior grappling, nearly submitting Horiguchi numerous times. He lost by a majority decision.
On June 22, Horiguchi fought Pancrase Bantamweight Champion, Shintaro Ishiwatari, at VTJ 2nd. The two engaged in a competitive, back and forth fight. Many outlets had Ishiwatari leading on the scorecards heading into the final round. Horiguchi rallied early in the fifth round, landing a barrage of punches on Ishiwatari to force the stoppage and defend his title.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Horiguchi was expected to face Chris Cariaso in a Flyweight bout on February 1, 2014 at UFC 169. However, Horiguchi pulled out of the bout citing injury and was replaced by WEC veteran Danny Martinez.
A rescheduled bout with Chris Cariaso was expected to take place on September 20, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 52. However, Cariaso was pulled from the bout with Horiguchi in favor of a matchup with current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 178. Horiguchi instead faced Jon Delos Reyes. He won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Horiguchi faced Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on April 25, 2015 in the main event at UFC 186. Despite doing well during the first round, Horiguchi lost the otherwise one-sided fight via an armbar submission at 4:59 of the fifth round, resulting in the latest finish in UFC history.
Horiguchi was expected to face Ali Bagautinov on October 15, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 97. However, the promotion announced on October 6 that they had cancelled the event entirely. In turn, the pairing was quickly rescheduled and took place on November 19, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 99. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
It was announced on February 17, 2017 that Horiguchi chose not to renew his contract with the UFC.
Rizin Fighting Federation
On April 16, 2017 Horiguchi made his debut in Rizin where he defeated Yuki Motoya by unanimous decision.
Horiguchi competed in the rest of the Bantamweight Grand Prix in December 2017, fighting three times over two days. In the quarter-finals, he faced Gabriel Oliviera on December 29, 2017 at Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: 2nd Round. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. He advanced to the next round, which was held on December 31, 2017 at Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: Final Round. He faced Manel Kape in the semi-finals and won via arm-triangle choke submission in the third round. In the final, he faced Shintaro Ishiwatari and won via knockout early into the second round to become the inaugural RIZIN Bantamweight Champion.
Horiguchi faced fellow UFC veteran Ian McCall in the main event at Rizin 10 on May 6, 2018. He defeated McCall just 9 seconds into the first round via KO. This was the second fastest stoppage in Rizin history.
After a 9-second knockout victory, Horiguchi made a quick turnaround to face fellow Japanese champion Hiromasa Ogikubo in a long-awaited rematch. Ogikubo, the current Shooto bantamweight champion, had not lost since he last faced Horiguchi in 2013. Horiguchi won the bout via unanimous decision.
Horiguchi faced the reigning Bellator Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell for the vacant Rizin Bantamweight Championship at Rizin 14 on December 31, 2018. He won the fight by submission via a guillotine choke.
Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoji_Horiguchi