Kyoji Horiguchi unfazed by the emerging contenders in the UFC’s flyweight division

Despite developments at the 125-pound title picture, Japanese standout Kyoji Horiguchi will focus on winning until he gets another title shot.

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]K[/mks_dropcap]yoji Horiguchi doesn’t mind missing out on a title shot even if he wins against Ali Bagautinov this November at UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast, Ireland. He knows the current situation of the division.

The winner of the Ultimate Fighter 24 will get an immediate shot at long-time champ Demetrious Johnson. To add to that, the TUF coaches, Henry Cejudo and Joseph Benavidez, would likely be the next in line.

Horiguchi (17-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) says that he’s not concerned with the current events. He believes that the idea of pitting champions from different organizations against each other would benefit the division as a whole. He’d prefer focusing his attention on what he can do to increase his chances of fighting for the belt once again.

“I think it (the title shot) might be a good idea for fans to pay close attention to the TUF 24 and flyweight division. At this point, my focus is my upcoming fight against Bagautinov and I just follow what UFC ask me to do,” Horiguchi tells Dojo Drifter.

Among the fighters in the house is Hiromasa Ogikubo representing Japan’s Shooto and is making a good account of himself. He defeated South African Nkazimulo Zulu of Extreme Fighting Championship via rear-naked choke to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

Having fought Ogikubo before moving to the UFC, Horiguchi is glad his compatriot’s performance. “We fought together in Shooto and both become world champion.” He added, “I am very happy to see his performance as Shooto champion in TUF 24.”

Currently ranked 4 in UFC’s official rankings, Horiguchi owns back-to-back wins over Chico Camus and Neil Seery. He plans to make it three in a row after suffering his first defeat inside the Octagon in a title shot against “Mighty Mouse.”

Horiguchi, a native of Gunma, Japan now resides and trains in Florida with American Top Team. He mentioned that the division is very competitive which is why he has no plans to look past anyone. He’s taking his fight against number-eight ranked Bagautiov (15-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC), also a former title challenger, seriously. It’s his way to keep his name in the mix and eventually earn another shot in the future.

“For me, all my fights are very important in my career regardless if its a ranked fighter like Bagautinov or not.” He aded, “All of the fighters are tough in UFC and I just want to make sure to beat whoever I face in Octagon.” “What I know is, I have to keep winning fights in order for me to seek the title again.”

Photo courtesy of Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
arrow