We spoke with former UFC flyweight championship contender Kyoji Horiguchi in an exclusive interview granted by the UFC and talked about his life, career, and his love of the outdoors. Known as “The Typhoon” for his explosive karate style, Horiguchi is currently ranked #3 in his weight division and will be competing against Russian fighter Ali Bagautinov in a 3-round undercard bout this October 15 at UFC Fight Night Manila 2.
I was born and raised in a place surrounded by nature, so fishing was one of the things I would do for fun when I was growing up. Now it has become a part of how I like to spend my leisure time.
I love any kind of outdoor activities, like camping. In fact, I am talking with Steve Mocco, my wrestling coach at American Top Team, about going hunting after UFC Manila.
Not really, but I started getting interested in becoming a fighter when I saw Kid Yamamoto fight. I liked his aggressive fighting style.
I started Karate when I was 5 years old because my father forced me to.
Kid Yamamoto. He is my idol and was one of my coaches when I was a team member of Krazy Bee in Japan.
A lot of people see me as just a “Karate Fighter” because of my background and how I fought in the past. However, since joining American Top Team, I am becoming a complete mixed martial arts fighter.
I decided to pursue my mixed martial arts career right before I graduated high school.
I have to 2-3 training sessions from Monday to Saturday. What I do is different based on the training schedule that my coaches plan.
I want to become the 1st Japanese & Asian UFC Champion.
I would like to settle down and live in a place where I have easy access to the outdoors.
MMA is in an interesting sport to try and you will enjoy it. If you want to become a champion, however, you will need to sacrifice.
I love meeting fans from all over the world and I’m really excited to see my fans in the Philippines. My opponent, Ali Bagautinov, is a great and very aggressive fighter and we both like finishing our fights. So please do not miss our fight in the Philippines. It’s going to be exciting.