Former Rizin Bantamweight Champion Kyoji Horiguchi is now a former Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion as Horiguchi has also relinquished that title after suffering a serious knee injury earlier this month.
A new champion is expected to be crowned in the next few months, but an exact fight date or those who will compete for the vacant title have yet to be revealed.
Bellator MMA issued the following press release on the matter:
DUE TO INJURY, BELLATOR BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION KYOJI HORIGUCHI RELINQUISHES TITLE
LOS ANGELES – After suffering a severe injury that forced him to undergo surgery, Bellator bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi (28-3) has relinquished the title he won last June at Bellator 222.
With the championship now vacant, Bellator will move to book a 135-pound title bout in the coming months.
“I feel terrible for Kyoji [Horiguchi] about the injury he suffered to his knee, but in the true spirit of martial arts and being a true champion, he has elected to vacate his title and allow the division to move forward in his absence,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “After fully healing, we plan to give Kyoji an immediate title shot.”
Please visit Bellator.com for more information.
Bellator is a leading global mixed martial arts and kickboxing promotion featuring many of the best athletes in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on both Paramount Network and DAZN, the world’s first truly dedicated LIVE sports streaming service. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.