Bellator and Rizin are both collaborating on a two-day special in Japan, and their new year’s eve card just lost its main event. The unfortunate news was announced by Rizin officials on Thursday, saying that Bellator and Rizin champion Kyoji Horiguchi has torn his ACL and damaged his meniscus in his right knee.
The two-promotion champion has undergone a successful surgery, and is currently having rehab in Florida. According to the release, Horiguchi is expected to be out of competition for 10 months.
With the injury, his planned main event rematch with Kai Asakura has been scrapped. A new headliner has yet to be revealed, but the promotion also states that Horiguchi has “asked to revoke his status as RIZIN Champion” and has dropped the title.
“When I think about everybody who was looking forward to my fight on NYE I am lost in words and have an indescribable feeling of guilt for everybody,” Horiguchi said. “I am sorry. I am sorry to Kai Asakura, I am sorry to all the fans. I cannot describe how I feel in words.
“...I have felt some abnormities in my body from last year but I didn’t take these signs too seriously. I started to train again in October but failed to realize how much wear and tear my body has obtained. And my ligament in my knee snapped. This was all because I took my body’s warnings lightly.”
Meanwhile, both Bellator and Rizin have also announced more cross-promotional bouts that have been added to their two-day event, including Larkin vs Nakamura, Yamauchi vs Cruickshank, and Tuck vs Sumimura.
The show on the 29th will be in the typical Bellator cage, while the bouts on the 31st will be contested in the Rizin ring. Check out the current fight card below.
December 29, 2019
Fedor Emelianenko vs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Michael Chandler vs Benson Henderson
Lorenz Larkin vs Keita Nakamura
Ilara Joanne vs Kana Watanabe
Goiti Yamauchi vs Daron Cruickshank
Andy Nguyen vs Ai Shimizu
Ryuichiro Sumimura vs Jon Tuck
Haruo Ochi vs Jarred Brooks
Yusuke Yachi vs Hiroto Uesako
December 31, 2019
Ayaka Hamasaki vs Seo Hee Ham [Atomweight title]
Johnny Case vs Tofiq Musaev [One-night LWGP]
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs Luiz Gustavo [One-night LWGP]
Yuki Motoya vs Patrick Mix
Mikuru Asakura vs John Macapa