Bellator Bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi has been forced to relinquish his championship due to a severe injury.
The promotion announced news of the injury today.
“I feel terrible for Kyoji [Horiguchi] about the injury he suffered to his knee, but in the true spirit of martial arts and being a true champion, he has elected to vacate his title and allow the division to move forward in his absence,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “After fully healing, we plan to give Kyoji an immediate title shot.”
Kyoji Horiguchi forced to vacate Bellator Title
Horiguchi (28-3) held both the Rizin FF and Bellator gold prior to this injury. Most recently Horiguchi was knocked out in a non-title bout at Rizin 18 against Kai Asakura. Prior to that blemish, the 29-year-old was riding a 13-fight winning streak. His lone loss since 2012 came at the hands of Demetrious Johnson at UFC 186 in 2015.
Following that loss, Horiguchi went on a three-fight streak inside the Octagon, before signing with Japanese promotion Rizin FF. He would go on to fight eight times for the promotion, winning the 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix and the inaugural Rizin Bantamweight Championship.
With the Bellator 135-pound title now vacant, the promotion will look to crown a new champion in the coming months.
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