Kyoji Horiguchi will make his return to RIZIN next month, competing at the promotion’s September 25th card.
Horiguchi, still recognized as the RIZIN Bantamweight Champion, will be appearing in the promotion for the first time in nearly two years. His outing is expected to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Horiguchi made the move to Bellator last year, heading back to the promotion with the goal of claiming their 135-pound belt. His push towards regaining champion status was unsuccessful last year, suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to Sergio Pettis in December.
Horiguchi suffered another loss earlier this year, getting eliminated from the opening round of an eight-man bantamweight tournament by Patchy Mix. Back in his home country, Horiguchi will have the chance to end the only two-fight losing streak of his career thus far.
The 31-year-old’s last appearance in RIZIN saw him re-gain their bantamweight belt in 2020, earning a first-round finish victory against Kai Asakura.
One New Matchup, Numerous Names Confirmed For RIZIN 38
Horiguchi’s return was among many announcements for RIZIN on Friday.
It was also revealed that bantamweight RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix winner Hiromasa Ougikubo will face Road FC Featherweight Champion Kim Soo-chul.
Ougikubo won RIZIN’s 16-man bantamweight tournament last year, scoring four wins to reach the end of the bracket. He most notably earned two victories on New Year’s Eve, defeating Naoki Inoue and Kai Asakura in the same night.
Kim will be returning to RIZIN for the first time since 2015. He has succeeded on the Korean regional scene since then, picking up seven wins through eight appearances.
He avenged a loss in his last fight, earning a stoppage win against Park Hae-jin in May.
RIZIN confirmed that the semi-finals in their ongoing super atomweight grand prix will take place in September. While the matchups for the upcoming round are unknown, it is expected that Seika Izawa, Ayaka Hamasaki, RENA and Park Si-woo will be competing.
It was also announced that Kyohei Hagiwara, Ren Hiramoto, Luiz Gustavo, and Anastasiya Svetkivska will appear on the card as well.
RIZIN will be trying something new at their upcoming event, presenting two different programs on the same evening. The card will start with “SUPER RIZIN,” a five-fight series that will take place earlier in the day. Later on, RIZIN 38 will happen. A total of 12 to 13 fights are expected to take place at the event.
Just two fights have been confirmed for RIZIN 38 thus far. The biggest bout on the card currently is an exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Mikuru Asakura.
Here’s how the show looks at the moment:
Bout 2: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Mikuru Asakura (Exhibition Boxing Bout)
Bout 1: Kim Soo-chul (17-6-1) vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo (25-5-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)