The Bellator x Rizin 2 co-main event took an unexpected turn when Kyoji Horiguchi's inaugural Bellator flyweight title fight against Makoto Shinryu was ruled a no-contest. Just 25 seconds into the first round, an accidental eye poke left Shinryu unable to continue, leaving both fighters disappointed and yearning for a definitive resolution.
Bellator president Scott Coker expressed his desire for a rematch, and it seems Horiguchi shares the sentiment. Speaking through an interpreter at the post-fight press conference, Horiguchi conveyed his interest in running it back with Shinryu.
“I guess I would also like to have a rematch,” Horiguchi stated.
The Japanese fighter immediately recognized the unfortunate incident and expressed remorse for the eye poke that changed the course of the fight.
“It was unfortunate," Horiguchi said. "I felt my finger going into his eye, so immediately I pointed out that he’s hurt and I sort of stopped the match there."
Despite his desire to continue the bout, Horiguchi doesn't hold Shinryu accountable for being unable to see after the eye poke. Shinryu made every effort to recover within the allotted five minutes, but his vision impairment led the referee, Jason Herzog, to declare the fight a no-contest.
"If he really couldn’t see from his right eye, then I think the match should have been stopped," Horiguchi empathized. "You’re a professional. This goes on the record, also so if you can’t fight, then I don’t think it should have been continued."
As both fighters seek closure to their unfinished business, fans are eager to witness the rematch they deserve. With Horiguchi displaying sportsmanship and understanding towards his opponent, the anticipation for the highly anticipated rematch between these talented flyweights continues to grow.