Kyoji Horiguchi “Just thinking about recovery” ahead of Grand Prix
Bellator’s Kyoji Horiguchi was winning his bantamweight title fight against Sergio Pettis late last year, until he wasn’t.
A 135-pound former Bellator MMA and RIZIN champion, at Bellator 272, Horiguchi was looking to reclaim the title he vacated due to injury. In three rounds, he suffered a shock knockout in the fourth, Pettis mounting what many considered the comeback of the year.
Now Horiguchi will be looking to resume the long road back to the title as he enters the Bellator bantamweight grand prix, starting with his quarterfinal fight against Patchy Mix at Bellator 279.
“I’m very excited for this fight because I just suffered a loss. I want to pay it back,” Horiguchi told media including Cageside Press during Thursday’s media day. “It’s normal that I lost. It’s a fight. I’m well. My mentality is the same. Always focused. I want to come back to the top. The losses are frustrating, no doubt. I’ll be back.“
The Japanese fighter, who has long trained in the United States in Florida, trains alongside Danny Sabatello, who will compete in a wild card tournament on Friday at Bellator 278, the first of back-to-back shows in Hawaii for the promotion. Horiguchi thinks the duo could see each other in the final.
“I speak with Danny Sabatello all the time about the tournament. We train together all the time. We joke a lot about the fact that we are both in Grand Prix. I think I will see him in the final. I think so. He is also a good fighter. »
Ultimately, what he really wants is a rematch with Pettis – although with the champion injured, that will have to come after the tournament. “I would pay him back. I only think of recovery. Revenge!” he exclaimed. “Of course why not?”
Watch the full Bellator 279 media day scrimmage with Kyoji Horiguchi above. Horiguchi takes on Patchy Mix in a quarter-final at the Btanweight Grand Prix this Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Bellator 279 in Honolulu, Hawaii.