The bad news: Kyoji Horiguchi understandably is disappointed coming out of Bellator 272. The good news: He’s apparently in good spirits and doing OK physically.

Horiguchi suffered a brutal spinning backfist knockout loss against bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The improbable finish came in Round 4 after Horiguchi was dominant in the first three rounds and clearly up 3-0 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Pettis whiffed on a head kick from close range but used his momentum to throw a spinning backfist that landed flush on Horiguchi’s face and put him to sleep instantly. Horiguchi was transported to a local hospital after the fight.

On Saturday, he provided a brief update on his status.

“I’m really sorry that I couldn’t meet the expectations of everyone who supported me!” Horiguchi tweeted in Japanese, via Google Translate. “I’m okay at all, so I’ll do my best again!”


— Kyoji Horiguchi (@kyoji1012) December 4, 2021

Horiguchi, still the Rizin bantamweight champion, returned to action for the first time in almost 13 months after tearing his ACL. He was hoping to win back the Bellator 135-pound title he was forced to vacate because of the injury.

Horiguchi will get another shot to reclaim gold as one of eight fighters who will partake in the Bellator bantamweight grand prix set to begin in early 2022.


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