Kyoji Horiguchi didn't feel any kind of title-fight hangover as he put on a picture-perfect performance to outstrike Chico Camus for three rounds to win a shutout unanimous decision in his home country of Japan on Saturday night.
Horiguchi lost a lopsided fight to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in his last trip to the Octagon, but he showed no ill effects of that defeat as he returned to his home country and put on a show for the Japanese fans.
From the moment the fight started, Horiguchi took the center of the Octagon and started looking to land his punches against a notable striker in Camus.
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Great footwork continued to highlight Horiguchi's performance in the first round, but he started to really find his range in the second round, when he turned up the volume and started cracking off three and four combinations in a row.
Camus ate a ton of shots and suffered a cut over his right eye, but the American fighter never backed down from the challenge and fired back with Horiguchi at every turn.
As the third round started, Camus' corner stressed to him that he needed a finish if he wanted to win the fight, but he just couldn't keep up with Horiguchi's output, which was far faster and with greater volume.
Horiguchi landed a hard right hand with less than 20 seconds to go that put Camus on wobbly legs, but he was able to survive and make it to the final bell.
The judges all scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Horiguchi, who gets his fifth win in the UFC overall while bouncing back from his first loss in over three years when he fell to Johnson.
"I want to challenge the champion again," Horiguchi said after the win while also acknowledging that he knows it's still a long road before he gets another shot at Johnson with gold on the line.