Kyoji Horiguchi To Fight Kai Asakura At RIZIN 18 In Non-Title Bout

Kyoji Horiguchi
Image Credit: USA Today Images
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Kyoji Horiguchi has his next RIZIN FF fight booked, but his title will not be on the line. The 28-year-old is coming off of a win over Darrion Caldwell to become the new Bellator bantamweight champion along with being RIZIN’s champ as well.

Now, the Japan-native will have to defend his Bellator title at least once a year, but will still be obligated to fight in RIZIN. And, at RIZIN 18 on August 18, he has a fight booked. There, he will be taking on Kai Asakura who is 12-1 as a pro and riding a four-fight winning streak, including a win over Manel Kape in 2018.

The 25-year-old was expected to fight Ulka Saski at RIZIN 15, but he withdrew, just like his replacement, Justin Scoggins:

“Kyoji Horiguchi may just be the best bantamweight in the world at the moment,” Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara said at a press conference. announcing the fight.

“And out of all the options we had, I do believe that Kai Asakura is the best option who would be able to fight Horiguchi with the most motivation and determination. He’s young, hungry and has been our rising bantamweight and most of all, he will be taking on the greatest fighter in his hometown in front of hundreds of his supporters.”

Horiguchi vs. Asakura will headline RIZIN 18 and the full card can be seen below:

  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Kai Asakura
  • Kanna Asakura vs. Alesha Zappitella
  • Manel Kape vs. Takeya Mizugaki
  • Hiroto Uesako vs. Yves Landu
  • Takaki Soya vs. Yutaro Muramoto
  • Kazuma Sone vs. TBA
  • John Wayne Parr vs. Danilo Zanolini (kickboxing)
  • Ryuji Horio vs. Uchu Sakurai (kickboxing)
  • Shota Takiya vs. Kazuki Osaki (kickboxing)