Kyoji Horiguchi, who has a record of 16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC and ranked 6th in the NOS Energy Drink MMA flyweight rankings, was not able to successfully win the belt when he went against Demetrious Johnson earlier this year during the UFC 186 event. “Might Mouse” dominated the fight during the first four rounds before finally making a last-second submission during the fifth round. This submission ultimately ended the fight and sent Horiguchi to a disappointing loss.
Horiguchi, however, revealed that even though he lost the first time around, he is still determined to bring pride to his country and become Japan’s first champ in the UFC.
This devastating loss could have stopped Horiguchi in doing better on his other fights, but the flyweight contender wasn’t fazed at all. In fact, he said that this loss actually helped him grow and improve as an MMA fighter. True enough, he was able to bounce back and get back in the game by winning over Chico Camus via unanimous decision during the UFC Fight Night 75 event. The fight was held in Saitama, Japan.
Horiguchi is known for his striking moves, but with Camus, he opted to finish the fight by trying to do five successive takedowns. After the fight, the flyweight contender admitted that it was their strategy to do a mix of strategies in order to confuse Camus.
“If I show that kind of move to my opponent, it makes him focus on it, so I just wanted to show the move to my opponent to make him focus on it more (so I could strike). I tried ground positions a lot, so I wanted to go for takedowns,” Horiguchi said during an interview with MMAjunkie.
Camus tried to counter Horiguchi’s shots, but it left him open to other possible strategies. Despite all of these, Camus was able to land 78 strikes which were significant enough to get him points. After the fight, he was able to get a 30-27 scorecard from all the judges.
Horiguchi revealed that he is aiming to build a series of wins that will be enough to qualify him for a chance to fight for the belt. He also said that by the time he’s able to build his record as the number one contender for a UFC title, he will be ready to face Johnson or whoever has a belt. A lot of spectators thought that Horiguchi got a chance to fight in a championship way too early in his career, but the flyweight contender thought otherwise.
The flyweight contender also emphasized his desire to have a rematch as soon as possible.
“Not in particular (is there an opponent I want to fight next). I want the belt soon,” he said.