After two years of competing overseas in Bellator, RIZIN’s bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi returned to action at RIZIN 38 to beat Yuto Hokamura (aka “Kintaro Masakari”) via arm-triangle choke in the second round.
The bout wasn’t without its drama as Masakari hit Horiguchi with a big straight left in the first round, dropping “The Guch” to the canvas. He recovered quickly, though, and in the second round Horiguchi knocked Masakari down to the canvas with his own overhand right, allowing him to get on top to set up the finishing choke.
It was a much needed win for Kyoji Horiguchi, whose last two Bellator fights were losses to Sergio Pettis and Patrick “Patchy” Mix. Coming into RIZIN 38 Horiguchi was just 1-3 with two knockout losses, worrying fans that the 29-5 fighter was starting to slip from his position as one of the elites of the bantamweight division.
Horiguchi is a former Shooto and Bellator champion, and had a 7-1 run in the UFC with his only defeat a flyweight loss to Demetrious Johnson in 2015. He won the inaugural RIZIN bantamweight championship in 2018 before vacating a year later due to injury. He’d become a two-time RIZIN bantamweight champ in 2020, avenging a knockout loss to Kai Asukara.
Watch the finish and highlights from Horiguchi vs. Masakari below:
Further down the card, Super Atomweight champion Seika Izawa tapped Anastasiya Svetkivska with just four seconds left in the second round of their RIZIN Super Atomweight Grand Prix semi-final to advance to the final. There she’ll face Si Woo Park, who defeated Ayaka Hamasaki earlier that evening via decision.
In the third fight of the night, heavyweight Shoma Shibisai took his opponent down and patiently improved position until he was ready to strike with a rear naked choke that forced Cally Gibrainn de Oliveira to tap at 1:48 of the first round. Watch that submission below:
And to open the card, Luiz Gustavo knocked Juri Ohara out with a flurry of punches on the feet just over a minute into their bout.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Yuto Hokamura via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) — Round 2, 2:59
Seika Izawa def. Anastasiya Svetkivska via submission (armbar) — Round 2, 4:56
Si Woo Park def. Ayaka Hamasaki via unanimous decision
Soo Chul Kim def. Hiromasa Ougikubo via unanimous decision
Shoma Shibisai def. Callyu Gibrainn by submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 1:48
Chihiro Suzuki def. Kyohei Hagiwara by submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 2:14
Luiz Gustavo def. Juri Ohara by KO — Round 1, 1:23