Mix upset former Rizin FF and Bellator bantamweight champion Horiguchi Saturday at Bellator 279 at Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Mix (16-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) predominantly used his grappling to control Horiguchi (29-5 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) and with the win, he advanced to the Bellator bantamweight grand prix semifinals.
“I just wanted to submit him,” Mix told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the Bellator 279 post-fight press conference. “I was trying to submit him. He just had good defense. I was really trying to squeeze and submit him. He just had good defense. I mean, Kyoji Horiguchi has only lost for world title fights.
“This is his first fight outside of the Rizin, Bellator or UFC world title fight where he lost where it wasn’t a world title fight, so I’m glad to have that name on my record. It’s just so prestigious to me. I deserve it. I’ve been hunting this name since New Year’s in Japan and Rizin 20 (in Dec. 31, 2019), so now I’m here, I just beat, I think, the most recent Rizin world champion at bantamweight and the former Bellator world champion, so I’m happy I beat him in a world title setting, five rounds.”
Having already competed for Bellator gold and fallen short to Juan Archuleta in September 2020, Mix liked that he was able to log in the full 25 minutes to help him prepare for the championship setting of the grand prix.
“It’s just experience I could gain from it,” Mix said. “Doing five rounds with a guy of that level. Making adjustments on the fly, having fun out there as well, getting used to it. I need this cage time to get better. I know I’m one of the best bantamweights in the world, but I want to be the best bantamweight in the world.”
Mix will face the winner of Enrique Barzola and Magomed Magomedov, who square off at Bellator 282 on June 24.