For several years, Kyoji Horiguchi was a star in the U.S. competing for the UFC.
Now, he makes his return to the States this Friday night.
Horiguchi challenges Sergio Pettis for the bantamweight title at Bellator 272. The event takes place from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, airing live on Showtime.
It will have also been almost a full year since Horiguchi last fought. Back in December 2020 he won the Rizin bantamweight title with a first round finish of Kai Asakura.
That performance avenged a 2019 loss to Asakura in a non-title fight.
Horiguchi had plenty of success the last time he fought for Bellator and in the U.S. At Bellator 222, he downed Darrion Caldwell for the title, becoming a multi-promotional champion.
Rizin allowed Horiguchi to compete for the Bellator belt while holding its title. He was later forced to vacate both due to a knee injury.
From 2015 until the setback to Asakura, Horiguchi was unbeaten. He won the Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix with a run of four consecutive finishes.
His streak started with a loss to Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title and stretched through the UFC, Rizin and Bellator.
Along with his win over Caldwell, Horiguchi has bested the likes of Ben Nguyen, Ian McCall, Chico Camus, Louis Gaudinot and Ali Bagautinov.