RIZIN flyweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi has ranked his three pound-for-pound greatest fighters in RIZIN history. Horiguchi appeared in a January 7 interview with RIZIN President Nobuyuki Sakakibara, where he detailed who he thought was the greatest.
Horiguchi ranked, in order, Jiri Prochazka, Seika Izawa, and Chihiro Suzuki as his pound-for-pound RIZIN fighters.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion, Prochazka’s history in RIZIN is little-known to Western fight fans. Prochazka had several stints in RIZIN from 2015 to 2019. “BJP” accrued 11 wins and one loss in the promotion, capturing and defending the RIZIN light heavyweight championship during his time.
Most notably, Prochazka engaged in tournament-style matchups which saw him fight multiple opponents within the span of a few days, if not on the same night. He would put his name on the map at the RIZIN World GP in 2015, first defeating Satoshi Ishii on December 29, then Vadim Nemkov on the 31st, before losing to Muhammad Lawal on the same night. He forced future Bellator champion Nemkov to retire at the end of the first round — which is 10 minutes in RIZIN — and still fought Lawal in the finals. Prochazka would later avenge his defeat to Lawal at RIZIN 15.
RIZIN Atomweight Seika Izawa is etching her legacy in RIZIN, maintaining a 12-0-0 record. The submission specialist last picked up a win against Miyuu Yamamoto at RIZIN 45, and although the quality of her competition appears to be waning, she is still a force to be reckoned with. As a 5’2″ atomweight, we probably won’t be seeing Izawa near Western MMA, especially since promotions like the UFC don’t yet have women’s divisions below 115 lbs.
Horiguchi’s final pick, Chihiro Suzuki, captivated Western audiences recently with his massive upset victory over Patricio Pitbull at Super RIZIN 2. An accomplished striker in kickboxing and Muay Thai, Suzuki is not to be trifled with on the feet. After defeating Pitbull, Suzuki would go on to score an unconventional finish over Vugar Karamov at RIZIN Landmark 7, finishing his adversary from bottom guard with an upkick and a flurry of short strikes. With this victory, Suzuki secured the RIZIN featherweight title and is geared to defend against Masanori Kanehara at RIZIN 47 — let’s see if Horiguchi’s P4P statements hold.
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
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