On the biggest stage possible, Kyoji Horiguchi made an impressive showing against a very game Louis Gaudinot to stay undefeated since coming to the UFC and the flyweight division.
Horiguchi (15-1) looked like a candidate to potentially move into title contention with a win on Saturday, and the Japanese fighter didn’t disappoint with a versatile striking attack throughout all three rounds.
As the fight started, it was Gaudinot who landed the heavier shots in Round 1, but Horiguchi never took any real damage as he measured his punches and started to put together combinations as time moved forward.
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Gaudinot (6-4, 1 NC) opened the second stanza with a tight head and arm choke while standing, but Horiguchi stayed calm and slipped out of the submission attempt. The rest of the round was Horiguchi putting together lightning quick combinations that tagged Gaudinot with tremendous accuracy.
With 30 seconds to go in the fight, Gaudinot tried a Hail Mary with a last-minute spinning back-first attack before charging forward with punches, but nothing connected and the fight went to the judges’ scorecards.
When the scores were returned, Horiguchi stood victorious with judges giving him the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
The win will surely push Horiguchi up the rankings where he will hopefully earn a top five opponent for his next fight. Depending on timing, a matchup with John Dodson, who will be returning from injury later this year, could be just the fight the flyweight division needs right now.