Asian MMA

Kyoji Horiguchi discusses upcoming Ian McCall fight and his interest in kickboxing

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Kyoji Horiguchi talks Ian McCall, kickboxing, and Tenshin Nasukawa! 

On Sunday, May 6th, 2018, RIZIN will be kicking off their event in Fukuoka which will be headlined by former UFC contenders, Kyoji Horiguchi and Ian McCall.

At a press conference in Japan, Kyoji Horiguchi expressed how excited he is to meet a fighter like “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall in Fukuoka. But, he admits that he has serious doubts about how willing McCall will be to stand with him.

“This will be my first fight in Fukuoka against a top fighter Ian McCall. I would like to put on a good performance to show the greatness of fighting. I would like to take on big challenges this year and would like to start 2018 by winning against Ian McCall in a good way. The finish in Kape vs. McCall was an accident, and I don’t take anything away from Ian because of that fight.”

“What he has done, and how he fought in the UFC, I have nothing but respect for him. I had plans for fighting Ian in the tournament, so I think I have a head start on my training camp in terms of strategy. He’s a very strong wrestler, so I think he’s going to try to take me down and grind. I don’t think he is going to want to stand with me at all. I have been training hard, and I will be ready to take on everything he delivers.”

RIZIN chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara explained the reasoning behind the Horiguchi/McCall match-up. Saying that what made them put the fight together was the fact he believes that most of the public viewed this bout as one of the most highly-anticipated potential fights during last year’s bantamweight grand-prix.

Though we didn’t see it in the tournament, RIZIN is happy to put it on now.

Also, Horiguchi was questioned about a potential kickboxing fight with Japanese phenom Tenshin Nasukawa. Before answering, he turned to Sakakibara to ask permission to share his thoughts on the contest, proving that conversation has taken place.

“If the fight against Tenshin Nasukawa would help the Japanese fight community regain some popularity, I would love to do it. I come from a karate background, so there would be no difference fighting him under kickboxing rules, it will be a regular fight without the grappling. The size of gloves does not matter; if I land, he will go down. He may be a huge superstar in kickboxing, but I am confident my standup is better.”

Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ian McCall will headline RIZIN 10 in May.

The card is loaded with talent featuring Kanna Asakura, Kai Asakura, Manel Kape, Weili Zhang, Yusuke Yachi, Diego Nunes, and Kanako Murata. The aforementioned Tenshin Nasukawa will compete in a kickboxing bout against a yet-to-be-named opponent.

There are currently nine bouts announced – six MMA fights, three kickboxing fights. The event is expected to have twelve total.


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