Takeya Mizugaki lands leather on Cole Escovedo - Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Another Japanese fighter has been added to the card for UFC 144 at the Saitama Super Arena on February 26th. MMA Weekly reports that bantamweights, Takeya Mizugaki and Chris Cariaso, have agreed to face off at that event:
Sources close to the match-up confirmed the new bout to MMAWeekly.com on Monday with verbal agreements in place for the fight.
Mizugaki hasn't fought in his native Japan since late 2008, after which he was signed by Zuffa and competed in the WEC and now the UFC. Although he's put on some memorable wars against the likes of Miguel Torres, Scott Jorgensen, and Urijah Faber, his desire to face top competition has also, perhaps, led to his inability to put together consecutive wins since his days fighting in Japan. Most recently, Mizugaki put his fierce striking on display against Cole Escovedo, stopping the American with strikes in the second round at UFC 135.
A native of San Francisco, Cariaso has flown under the radar in his time as a UFC and WEC fighter, but his razor-thin split decision loss against uber-prospect, Michael McDonald, caught the attention of a lot of fans, as did his performance at UFC 138, where, instead of relying on his highly technical kickboxing skills, he showed off a solid ground game as well, methodically out-classing submission specialist, Vaughan Lee, for a unanimous decision.
Takeya Mizugaki (15-6-2)
W Cole Escovedo (TKO) - UFC 135
L Brian Bowles (unam. decision) - UFC 132
W Reuben Duran (split decision) - UFC on Versus 3
Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso (12-3)
W Vaughan Lee (unam. decision) - UFC 138
L Michael McDonald (split decision) - UFC 130
W Will Campuzano (unam. decision) - UFC Fight for the Troops 2