Fights come together fast these days, and if you blink, you can easily miss them. In Fight Roundup, we bring you the latest reported matchups to keep you up to date with what’s on the horizon.
A pivotal Bellator bantamweight matchup is headed to Hawaii.
Kyoji Horiguchi (31-5) is set to take on former UFC flyweight contender and promotional debutant Ray Borg (16-5) at Bellator 295, which takes place at Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on April 22. The matchup was first reported to be in discussion by ESPN.
The event marks Horiguchi’s return to Honolulu. He most recently fought there in April 2022, losing a unanimous decision to Patchy Mix in the quarterfinals of the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix. Horiguchi has bounced back with consecutive wins since then, including a unanimous decision win over Hiromasa Ougikubo at the Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN show this past December. The 32-year-old previously held 135-pound titles in Bellator and RIZIN and he challenged Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title in April 2015.
Borg is also a former UFC flyweight contender, having fought Johnson in a championship bout at UFC 216. “The Tazmexican Devil” saw inconsistent results after that, going just 2-2 in the UFC while struggling to make weight at both 125 and 135 pounds. Since parting ways with the UFC in 2020, Borg has won three straight fights.
Bantamweights Montel Jackson and Rani Yahya will also compete on April 22 at a UFC APEX event in Las Vegas. The bout was first announced by Jackson’s management.
Jackson (12-2) makes his first appearance of 2023 after defeating Julio Arce at UFC 281 this past November. He has won three straight fights and six of his past seven.
Yahya (28-10, 1 NC) returns to the after missing out on his entire 2022 campaign. The Brazilian veteran was twice scheduled to fight former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt, but both times was forced to withdraw. In his most recent outing in November 2021, Yahya won a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang. His UFC record stands at 13-4-1 (1 NC).
The UFC’s April 29 event may not have a location yet, but it has added two more bouts to the lineup with jiu-jitsu ace Rodolfo Vieira taking on Cody Brundage in a middleweight bout and Josh Quinlan fighting Ange Loosa at welterweight.
Vieira vs. Brundage is a rescheduling from UFC Vegas 65, which Vieira was forced to withdraw from. Eurosport was first to report the new booking.
Vieira (8-2) looks to rebound from a decision loss to Chris Curtis after a third-round submission of Dustin Stoltzfus put him back in the win column. He is 3-2 since making his UFC debut in 2020.
Following the cancellation of his fight with Vieira, Brundage (8-3) instead fought Michal Oleksiejczuk a month later at UFC Vegas 66. Brundage lost that fight by first-round knockout, dropping his UFC record to 2-2.
Quinlan (6-0, 1 NC) looks to remain undefeated in his second UFC fight when he takes on Loosa (9-3). Both fighters most recently fought this past August, with Quinlan scoring a first-round knockout of Jason Witt in his UFC debut, and Loosa outpointing A.J. Fletcher.
The bout was first announced by Quinlan’s management.
Edmen Shahbazyan has a tough task ahead of him if he wants to get a win streak going as he next takes on rising middleweight contender Anthony Hernandez on May 20 at a location still to be determined.
The bout was first reported by ESPN.
Shahbazyan (12-3) snapped a three-fight losing skid this past December at UFC 282, where he defeated Dalcha Lungiambula by second-round knockout. If Shahbazyan can get past Hernandez, he’ll record consecutive victories for the first time since November 2019.
Hernandez (10-2, 1 NC) is already on a hot streak, having won his last three fights. “Fluffy” defeated Marc-Andre Barriault via third-round technical submission this past September to follow up victories against Josh Fremd and Rodolfo Vieira.