Bellator Champ Darrion Caldwell Faces RIZIN Champ Kyoji Horiguchi in Crossover Fight in Japan

A crossover fight is scheduled for RIZIN 14 as Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will travel to Japan to face RIZIN champion Kyoji Horiguchi on New Year's Eve.

A crossover fight is scheduled for RIZIN 14 as Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will travel to Japan to face RIZIN champion Kyoji Horiguchi on New Year’s Eve.

The new fight was announced as part of the RIZIN press conference on Wednesday night. The RIZIN bantamweight title will be up for grabs in the crossover showdown.

As reigning Bellator champion, Caldwell won and defended his title over the past year and just recently bumped up to featherweight for a new challenge while waiting for a contender at 135 pounds to emerge.

Now the former NCAA champion wrestler will travel to Japan to face arguably one of the top pound-for-pound talents in the sport.

Horiguchi was recognized as one of the best flyweight fighters in the world while he was competing in the UFC where he amassed an impressive 7-1 record with his only loss coming to Demetrious Johnson.

Following the end of his UFC contract, Horiguchi signed a new long term deal with RIZIN and he’s now racked up seven more wins in a row including a dominant run through the first ever bantamweight grand prix.

Most recently in his MMA career, Horiguchi earned a stunning nine-second knockout against former UFC fighter Ian McCall and even crossed over for a kickboxing bout against 20 year old sensation Tenshin Nasukawa.

Now Horiguchi will face Caldwell in a unique champion versus champion showdown between Bellator and RIZIN.

 

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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