Kyoji Horiguchi’s family is even more hyped than he is for Sergio Pettis rematch


KyojiHoriguchi has a knack for revenge. At least, that’s what it seems to be so far.

The last time Kai Asakura was defeated by the ex-Bellarator bantamweight champion, it was three years ago. He returned to give the exact same result in the rematch.

This is the plan of Sergio Pettis (current Bellator champ), who was thrown out by a momentary misstep in defense at Bellator 272 in December. This might be a slow process and Patchy Mix will face Horiguchi at Bellator 279. on Saturday.

The important thing is, history is on the Japanese veteran’s side.

“It’s a good story,” Horiguchi told MMA Fighting. “I will make another good story.”

His longtime coach, American Top Team’s Mike Brown, calls that spinning a backfist a “lucky shot” that can quickly be overcome. He isn’t quite certain about this, but he still respects his champ and promises to focus harder for the next fight.

“It’s my fault,” he said.

Horiguchi laughs at the “funeral vibe” after Pettis’ loss. He’s been here before. The way he mourns is on bass fishing trips with Brown, the one-time “Coach of the Year” he calls “not good” at fishing.

Horiguchi was thrilled to have the chance to take revenge on Pettis and win the bantamweight title fight. Pettis was injured and Pettis pulled out. Horiguchi had to reconsider his motivation.

Ultimately, Horiguchi decided he didn’t care. He’d been forced to give up his title due to a knee injury, so he understood that Pettis was hurt. It would take a lot of time to rematch.

“After I get the belt, I want to beat him up,” Horiguchi said. It’s revenge. More than any other fight, I am excited. But I’m focused right now on Patchy Mix.”

Mix has bounced back from a decision loss to former champ Juan Archuleta for the vacant Bellator bantamweight title. The interim title is now on the line, and the winner of the tournament will receive a $1million prize.

“It’s good, because it makes it far more exciting,” Horiguchi said. “I’m a real champ. He thinks he’s the real champ. It’s a great story .”

It’s a great bonus to knock out the man who knocked your out. Horiguchi’s family seemed even more thrilled about the prospect, judging by their reactions.

“F*** YES!” he yells. “Like this.”