As mentioned, Horie, who had spent the first nine fights of his career competing in Pancrase, signed with the UFC earlier this year and faced Canadian striker Hakeem Dawodu in Edmonton, Alberta back in July. It was an exciting stand-up fight, as expected, but “Mean” Hakeem finished the 24-year-old Horie with a headkick four minutes into the final round.
Horie, despite being a very young, exciting fighter, revealed via social media that the UFC released him a few weeks back. As a result, he will return to his home promotion for another run in February. Horie faces a mainstay of the Japanese fighting scene in the form of Yojiro Uchimura (17-12-3) of Charis Gym.
Following a 4-0 run in 2017 that included three knockouts, Yoshinori Horie was knocked out by KRAZY BEE’s Issei Tamura in his first bout of 2018. Horie handled the loss smartly and took exteYnded time off before returning to the cage that November and knocking out Masaya Takita with a vicious ground punch. In March of this year, Horie crushed Hiroshige Tanaka with a right hook in under a minute to make it two-straight wins, both by knockout.
It was this won that secured Horie the previously mentioned UFC 240 opportunity.
A prominent kickboxer in his own right, Yojiro Uchimura has been competing in MMA since 2005 but has competed in two high profile kickboxing fights in the last twelve months. This includes a RISE appearance against K-1 Tournament Champion HIROYA and a ONE Super Series match against Yu Hirono. He was, unfortunately, knocked out in both of these outings.
In terms of his recent MMA run, Uchimura is currently riding a two-fight win streak. Knocking out Vitor Toffanelli with a headkick before taking out Shinsuke Kamei in a one-sided unanimous decision call.
Pancrase 312 goes down on February 16 at the famed Studio Coast. More bouts should be announced in the coming weeks.