The UFC is always looking for new future contenders in the 125-pound division and they may have found one in Kyoji Horiguchi. The 23-year-old and highly-touted Japanese prospect earned his seventh straight win and improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon by defeating Darrell Montague this past weekend at Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati. The unanimous decision victory catapulted Horiguchi into the top-15 UFC rankings.
The No.14 ranked Horiguchi has an intriguing karate style that can be quite explosive. While he fights in a deliberate manner his blitzes can be very dangerous to his opposition. He’s a powerful puncher and showed off his striking prowess by landing several punishing shots on the tough Montague over the course of the 15 minute affair.
Horiguchi has a 13-1 career record with eight of those wins having come by way of knockout. “The Supernova” recorded a TKO victory over Dustin Pague in his Octagon debut at UFC 166 in a bantamweight contest before electing to make the move down in weight. He looked quite comfortable in his flyweight debut and is only going to get better with more experience under his belt.
After the strong effort against Montague, I’d personally like to see Horiguchi continue his climb up the ladder by facing a top-10 opponent in his next fight. A matchup against No.8 ranked Chris Cariaso would have the makings of being a crowd-pleasing affair. “Kamikaze” handed Louis Smolka his first career loss in Ohio and is currently riding a 3-fight win streak.
The two fighters had been scheduled to meet at UFC 169 back in February, but an injury to Horiguchi scuttled that contest. It’s a fight that UFC matchmakers should consider rebooking.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports