After Chris Cariaso was pulled from the card to fight for the title at UFC 177, Japanese prospect Kyoji Horiguchi is now set to meet Jon Delos Reyes at UFC Fight Night 52. Reyes will be making his flyweight debut after an unsuccessful first fight in the UFC, losing to Dustin Kimura via first round submission in the bantamweight division.
Kyoji Horiguchi is 13-1 as a professional and at just 23 years of age, is one of the biggest and best prospects in the 125lbs division. Back-to-back wins over Dustin Pague and Dustin Montague have helped Horiguchi claim the #14 spot in the rankings, and if he can continue this level of improvement, a run at the title in 2015 is very likely.
After two fights in a row outside of his native Japan, coincidentally his only professional fights held elsewhere, Horiguchi returns to familiar territory, and is likely to compete on the main card. A third win in a row could push the 23 year-old into the mix of top 10 status in a division and just a win or two away from title contention.
Jon Delos Reyes could spoil all of that with a victory and, in the process, steal the momentum of the prospect if he can improve on his UFC debut. After going 7-2 on the regional circuit, the Guam-born 26 year-old was finished via armbar just 2:13 into his promotional debut, and has decided to move down in weight class in order to resurrect the momentum prior to his opening bout inside the Octagon.
The coined phrase of Octagon jitters could have got the better of Reyes, and his four fight winning streak prior to joining the UFC ranks, a streak in which Reyes finished all of his opponents, show what he is capable of. If he can get back to winning ways over the highly touted Kyoji Horiguchi, he will introduce himself to the 125lbs division in style.
UFC Fight Night 52 is headlined by a heavyweight contest between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson, held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on September 20.