This Day in MMA History: May 6

By: Ben Duffy
May 6, 2020

Rizin 10 on May 6, 2018 showcased many of the Japanese promotion’s leading lights. In the headliner, Rizin Fighting Federation bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi dropped Ian McCall with a compact left hook, then pounced on him for the technical knockout. It was all over in nine seconds—a finish so abrupt and demoralizing that McCall decided to retire a few days later, putting an end to one of the most star-crossed careers in MMA history.

Horiguchi would go on from there to even greater heights, winning two straight fights over Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell to become a two-promotion titleholder. While Horiguchi has hit a rough patch since then—he lost a non-title fight to Kai Asakura at Rizin 18 before being forced to vacate both championships due to injury—at age 29, the onetime Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger would appear to have plenty of time to resume his place as one of the very best flyweights and bantamweights in the world.

Also of note at Rizin 10 was the undercard appearance of a little-heralded Surinamese kickboxer who extended his record to 5-0 with a split decision win over Andrey Kovalev. It was the first time Jairzinho Rozenstruik had been out of the first round in an MMA fight, let alone the third. Apparently, the experience reminded “Bigi Boy” that he is not paid by the hour. His five wins since the Kovalev fight—the last four in the UFC—have all been knockouts or technical knockouts, including fights lasting nine, 10 and 29 seconds. The one time he was forced to fight past the second round, he memorably rearranged Alistair Overeem’s face, earning a last-second TKO in the UFC on ESPN 7 main event in December. Now 10-0, Rozenstruik has become one of the promotion’s hottest heavyweight prospects, and his bout with two-time title challenger Francis Ngannou at UFC 249 on Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida, has all the appearance of a de facto title eliminator.
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