Kyoji Horiguchi – First Japanese UFC champion?
If Kyogji Horiguchi can do the impossible and beat flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson this Saturday at UFC 186 he will become the first Japanese fighter to win a UFC championship.
Five fighters before him have earned title shots, however none of them have been able to get the win.
Although Lyoto Machida has a loss to both Chris Weidman and Jon Jones while challenging for UFC gold, he is not considered one of the five because he is only half Japanese. The other half as you may have guess is Brazilian.
Below are the five Japanese fighters who have all fought for a UFC championship.
Caol Uno vs. B.J. Penn
Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Pat Miletich at UFC 29
Yuki Kondo vs. Tito Ortiz at UFC 29
Hayato Sakurai vs. Matt Hughes at UFC 36 (Sakurai’s only fight in the UFC)
Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva at UFC 134
“This is my honor to have a title shot. I’m going to make the most of it and become the first Japanese UFC champion. I am the most exciting fighter at flyweight, and I’m going to become champion.”
The only problem for Horiguchi however is that he is fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Johnson.