Guchi Gang: Kyoji Horiguchi Interview Ahead of RIZIN 10

Kyoji Horiguchi RIZIN 10
Credit: RIZIN FF

We spoke to RIZIN’s top commodity Kyoji Horiguchi about his prospects for the future and the differences of flyweight and bantamweight.

We checked in with a busy Kyoji Horiguchi ahead of his RIZIN 10 bout with Ian McCall, scheduled for May 6 on FITE TV. Kyoji has enjoyed much success since his unfortunate exit from the UFC, which is considered one of the worst loss of talent by the promotion among MMA fans. He’s still the second-best flyweight in the world and arguably a top 10 bantamweight despite where some websites have him placed.

The lack of weight cut seems to be giving you some added power in your strikes. Do you intend to stay at your current weight long term?

Yes, I felt more striking power compared to when I fought in flyweight. I am thinking of staying at bantamweight for now unless there are big fight is offered.

How is your current training camp run? Is your entire camp held in Coconut Creek or Japan, or is it split between the two?

I’m having a training camp at American Top Team in Coconut Creek and will have karate training at ICHIGO CLUB in Japan to finish up my camp for the fight.

You’re one of the most successful karate practitioners in professional MMA. Why do you think you’ve successfully transitioned while others have failed?

I really thought about my strengths and weaknesses and I always practiced! For example, how does karate work advantageously in MMA? Where are its faults? I thought to incorporate it into practice and I also listened to the coach’s advice often!

Kyoji Horiguchi vs Manel Kape Credit: RIZIN FF
Would you consider participating in any of the kickboxing bouts Rizin likes to put on?

I am a Mixed Martial Artist and I love the challenge of any type of martial arts including kickboxing bouts, as long as my fans are eager to see my fight.

You competed a total of five times last year. Did you originally set out to compete that many times in a year or is just something that happened?

I am trying to keep up good conditioning for the fight since I would like to fight as much as I can. However, I did not expect to have five fights in 2017.

After your bout with McCall next month, are there plans for another tournament or the introduction of a championship title?

That’s question for RIZIN, but I hope to have the chance to compete for a second title in 2018.

In the eyes of many, your treatment by the UFC is one of their biggest mistakes. Would you like to see some other fighters from 125 and 135 make the transition to RIZIN? Maybe even a rematch with Demetrious Johnson?

I would like to see all of the top fighters come to RIZIN and contribute to the growth like the PRIDE era. And I’m eager to face Johnson to validate that I am the best and most complete MMA fighter on the planet.

You can watch Horiguchi vs McCall on Fite TV’s website on May 6th at 1:30 am.