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UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs. Nelson - Idiot's Guide Preview to Kyoji Horiguchi vs Chico Camus

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know about Kyoji Horiguchi's trek back into Flyweight title contention this weekend in Japan.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Former flyweight contender looks to earn his way back into title contention this  September 27, 2015 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The Match Up

Flyweight Kyoji Horiguchi 15-2 vs. Chico Camus 14-6-1 NC

The Odds

Flyweight Kyoji Horiguchi -360 vs. Chico Camus +300

3 Things You Should Know

1. Horiguchi still needs seasoning, which is a scary thought for opponents.

Horiguchi kind of just popped up onto the scene. He was always considered a solid prospect. Then, like all solid Japanese prospects, he got matched up with Masakatsu Ueda and lost.

Since then he's had a solid run, going 4-0 in the UFC until fighting Demetrious Johnson for the title. It was too much, too soon for the 24 year old, but there are few substitutes for that kind of experience. Just how much he learns from it is anyone's guess. Luckily for him, the raw talent is there to get him back into title contention. Still, Flyweight isn't getting easier despite Chico's reputation as a mere gatekeeper.

2. Chico Camus is not the journeyman your trainers warned you about.

Camus has a far worse record than you probably remember at 3-3-1 NC in the UFC. However, the losses were against stiff competition, and he's picked up solid wins in between (Brad Pickett, in particular, despite his decline).

He's a very deliberate fighter, and proved against Henry Cejudo that you can underestimate him at your own peril. He's fairly young for a gatekeeper as well. While this doesn't bode well for pugilist innovation, it does emphasize an absence of decline. Camus is the kind of fighter who punishes mistakes so this is a pretty good fight for both men.

3. This fight is just as competitive as Camus vs. Cejudo. Difference being, there is high potential for a violent finish.

One of the things that separates Horiguchi from pretty much every other fighter on the planet is his ability to lunge in with strikes without ever truly sacrificing his base. Part of it's the movement of those trained in the Krazy Bee dungeons, but the other element is his boxing technique. While he wings his punches at times, his ability to throw in combination ensures that he can't be easily countered. Nor can he be easily taken down.

He stands in stark contrast to Chico's smooth boxing, and defensive grappling. Camus plays a stout well rounded game that relies more on defense than offense. He's opportunistic and fights a mistake-free bout.

My problem with Camus is that you need that extra bit of moxy at Flyweight to be successful. It's a division defined by high wire acts of activity and violent pressure. Camus is none of that. His calculated style only guarantees that he won't be easily defeated.

Horiguchi's trump card is that he throws with bad intentions (as if there's any other kind). He's also very bright. It's very rare to see a prizefighter who is self aware, but Horiguchi gave a revealing interview last year for Vice's Fightland series when he talked about the difference between American and Japanese coaching.

Having the intellectual capital for fighting can be just as valuable as the physical assets. That Horiguchi has both means he won't underestimate Camus, and knows full well what to expect.


Kyoji Horiguchi by TKO, round 3

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