In my first UFC match abroad, I thought… “I’ll do what I usually do.
I’ll kick some ass.” Right now, there aren’t any Japanese fighters who are stars. I want to be that star.
So that I can make this sport more popular. I started karate when I was five. Karate is definitely a big part of my fighting style. – Straight punches seem to work with this guy.
– Right there? My goal is to get the UFC championship belt. I’m Kyoji Horiguchi.
I belong to a team called Krazy Bee. I’m 23 years old. When I was in high school, the Pride
Fighting Championships were popular on TV. I was only 16 at the time, but I was blown away. I particularly looked up to the fighter “Kid” Yamamoto. He was knocking down guys that were much bigger than him. I’m not so big myself, and I wanted to do the same. That’s how it started. Meet Kid, the number one playboy from
team Krazy Bee. – What’s up guys. I’m Kid. Horiguchi has great groundwork techniques.
He’s rapidly becoming stronger overall. There’s no doubt he’ll get the
championship belt at UFC. It’s just a matter of how long he can keep it. Can’t wait to see it happen. The type of karate I did was called Sports Karate. It’s unique in that, it allows you to attack your opponent from a much further distance than other types of sports. So that’s become one of my strengths. For example, compared to boxing or kickboxing, I make my move from one step further away. That makes me different. I can approach without being obvious, so my opponents are hit before they know it. Next thing they know, it’s over. That’s all thanks to my karate background. The difference in doing this sport in Japan and the US is that in the US, you always have a coach. They tell you what you’re doing right and wrong. So the athletes tend to improve their techniques faster, and more efficiently, in a short amount of time. In Japan, we don’t have that kind of
support system in place. You have to actively seek advice. That’s the biggest difference I’ve noticed. Welcome to my crib! People think I’m loaded now that I’ve made it to UFC. Still a long way to go. Don’t have much! Give me money! I don’t watch many MMA or UFC videos. I keep fighting and my private life separate. In my free time, I like to take it easy. Do whatever I feel like doing. Like fishing. I watch a lot of fishing videos, actually. I come here at the weekends to unwind.
It’s relaxing. Beautiful wildlife, beautiful river. Beautiful fish. – Damn! It got away. Check out today’s winning fishing lure.
It’s this color. I choose different colors depending on the day. Or different shapes. Certain lures work better at certain times of the day. I try different ones to see what works best. It’s so much fun. When I first met him, he reminded me of a little monkey. When we got back in touch,
he didn’t tell me that he was a fighter. I thought he might be a yakuza member!
Because he’s so buff. I totally thought he went down that path! When Japanese people think of fighters
or MMA in general, they think that we’re barbaric.
That it’s an uncivilized sport. On the other hand, people in other countries
respect fighters. When I tell people what I do, they’re in awe. We envy the West in that sense.
All my fighter friends say so. So when I got the offer from the UFC, I was elated. As soon as I got offered, I did a match in the US. UFC is going to become a regular thing for me. I don’t want to lose now and become an
embarrassment for Japanese fighters. I’m going to aim high and go for that belt. – To good games! Cheers!
– Cheers! Here we go.
Staying low, looking good. The first to attack always wins. – Is this you Kyoji?
– That’s right, look at him. We’re watching my last UFC match. – The guy’s arms and legs were so long.
– Tricky, huh. I thought I could shake him off, but couldn’t. Here, I gave him a jab in the stomach and he groaned. – Was that it?
– Yeah, that! You totally winded him. The pounding trick that I used to do… I’d swing my fist to the back
like I was swimming, right? Way back, so that the opponent can’t see it. Then from there, bam! I was flexible, you see.
Almost always worked. I’m checking out my next opponent. He throws ad hoc punches. – That’s why he can’t hit Dodson.
– Dodson’s moving in on him. He’s getting about 3 punches in. I’m thinking of doing something similar. Your usual jab should get him good.
You’ll get him in the face. The guy looks frozen. If Dodson can KO the guy like this, it’ll be a piece of pie for my buddy Kyoji. I’m still very far from getting a title. Unless I win strong with a KO in my next match, It’ll take even longer to get to the top. That’s why I need to win with a KO. This gym attracts strong athletes. In that sense, Krazy Bee is special. The senior fighters here,
like Kid and Kotetsu Boku, give us advice every step of the way. That’s why I’m the fighter that I am today. You can’t get this kind of mentorship elsewhere. That’s why I think this gym is the best.