Biography and Profile of Kyoji Horiguchi

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Horiguchi weighing in. Courtesy of Sherdog.com

Though his fight at UFC 182 against Louis Gaudinot was hardly one to be remembered- in fact, it wasn't a very good fight at all- the bout perhaps told mixed martial arts fans what was to come in terms of Kyoji Horiguchi.  You see, the Japanese fighter was hardly hit at all.  His opponent only landed 16 significant strikes on him through three rounds.  He moved with stealth, in and out of harm's way with technical skills reminiscent of an MMA legend in Lyoto Machida.

Which, by the way, says it all.  Horiguchi fought a bit like Machida because, like the Brazilian, he's a longtime karate practitioner.  Since the age of five he's been working on the kind of footwork which would allow him to strike hard without incurring damage.  A black belt in the art who fought like one in the cage.

Here is his story.

Date of Birth:

Kyoji Horguchi was born on October 12, 1990.

Training Camp and Fighting Organization:

Horiguchi trains at the Krazy Bee Gym in Japan.  He fights for the UFC.

Early Martial Arts Training:

When asked what particular style of karate he practiced by Asia MMA, he said "The “no-hitting” style."

Horiguchi began training in the "no-hitting style," of karate at age 5.  On his official UFC profile it is noted that his "father forced him to do it."  He did eventually compete in full contact competitions and became a Japanese regional champion.  At 16 years of age, Horiguchi watched a PRIDE Fighting Championships event and became intrigued.

  This intrigue eventually led to his joining the Krazy Bee Gym after graduating from high school, foregoing college even with an offer to attend.

At present, Horiguchi holds a 2nd degree black belt in karate.

MMA Beginnings:

As was noted previously, Horiguchi began training in mixed martial arts right after high school.

  He became interested after watching a PRIDE event at the age of 16.

Horiguchi made his professional MMA debut on May 9, 2010 at Shooto: Kitazawa Shooto Vol. 3.  He defeated Ranki Kawana by decision.  Along the way while in Shooto, he posted a 9-1 record, winning their Rookie Tournament and their bantamweight championship.  During that time period, Horiguchi also posted a 2-0 record in Vale Tudo fights before the UFC came calling.

UFC Beginnings:

Horiguchi made his UFC debut on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166, defeating Dustin Pague by TKO. 

Fighting Style:

Horiguchi utilized footwork, angles, and in and out movement to make it very hard to pin him down or land a strike on him while on his feet.  He also hits quickly and hard, with a diverse striking attack that includes punches as much as kicks.

He is hard to take down and wants to strike. 

Check out how Horiguchi put it during an interview with Asia MMA:

"Going forward is very important in karate. Everything in my style comes from karate."

"Karate is thought of as not moving around much, very rooted. But really I don’t practice like that at all. I’m always moving around, punching. Using my whole body behind everything. It’s all karate. My original style."

Some of Kyoji Horiguchi's Greatest MMA Victories:

Horiguchi defeats Dustin Pague by second round TKO at UFC 166: Was Pague fighting well in the UFC at the time?  Not really.  That said, a debut victory with the biggest martial arts organization on the planet is always a feather in one's cap. 

Horiguchi defeats Hiromasa Ogikubo by second round rear naked choke at Shooto: 2nd Round 2013: This win was big for him for two reasons.  First, he won the Shooto Bantamweight Championship with the victory.  Second, it was by submission, a rarity for Horiguchi that showed his improvements as a grappler.

Horiguchi defeats Seiji Akao by second round TKO at Shooto: The Rookie Tournament 2010 Final: The win represented his first championship/tournament victory.