Last month, streaking dual-organizational champion, Kyoji Horiguchi, was upset by rising talent, Kai Asakura at RIZIN 18. Now, it sounds like we know when they’ll run things back.
According to American Top Team Founder, Dan Lambert, in a discussion with The Score’s James Lynch, he revealed a list of the fights his fighters have coming up to close out the year. To close it out, Lambert said that the rematch between Horiguchi and Asakura will happen at the end of the year.
No further details were given, but it’s safe to assume a massive title fight rematch like that will be on RIZIN’s big annual New Year’s Eve show.
In their non-title main event encounter at RIZIN 18, the sizeable underdog in Asakura would shock the world by knocking Horiguchi out in just 67 seconds. The current RIZIN and Bellator champ’s incredible 13-fight winning streak came to an end that night making it his first loss since challenging for the UFC title against Demetrious Johnson in April 2015.
For the younger of the two Asakura brothers, the win would extend Kai’s current streak to five straight. In his 14-fight career, Asakura has only suffered defeat once and it came at the hands of Je Hoon Moon. In Asakura’s bout prior to his last, he would get his redemption against Moon via unanimous decision.
What Asakura managed to pull off was something that 30 others could not. That includes one of the all-time greats in the aforementioned “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Even in defeat to Japanese superstar, Tenshin Nasukawa, in their kickboxing match, Horiguchi found great success and survived to hear the judges’ scorecards.
Win or lose in the rematch, Horiguchi will still be Bellator’s 135-pound champion. And because of that, his schedule will have no shortage of activity.
The 28-year old Takasaki, Gunma native claimed the title at Bellator 222 in June with his second win over Darrion Caldwell.