Photo by Scott Peterson via MMA Weekly.
Despite breaking his hand in the second round, Brian Bowles was able to edge out Japanese fighter Takeya Mizugaki and win via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 132 on Saturday night.
Mizugaki and Bowles had a lengthy feeling out process in the first as neither fighter was able to gain a clear edge. Mizugaki was able to surprise Bowles with a stiff right hand early, but Bowles was able to counter with his own jabs and strikes as the round progressed. The second round was more of the same until Bowles caught a Mizugaki kick, taking his back in the transition to the ground. Mizugaki defended well, but it was a clear winning round for Bowles on the scorecards.
In between the second and third, Bowles informed his corner that he believed he had broken his right hand. Despite the injury, Bowles was able to gain the edge by taking Mizugaki's back along the fence, shedding nearly three minutes off the clock. With one minute left in the round, both men went toe-to-toe with Mizugaki aggressively seeking out a finish. Mizugaki finished strong as Bowles couldn't punch with his injured hand, but it didn't seem to sway the judges' scorecards.
Bowles squared off against Damacio Page in a rematch of a WEC 35 contest that took place in 2008 in his last performance, submitting him in 3:30 of the first round via guillotine choke. Surprisingly, it was the same submission he had previously beat Page with at WEC 35, and in roughly the same period of time. He previously contended for the WEC bantamweight crown at WEC 47 in March of last year, succumbing to a doctor stoppage at the end of the second round. He was crowned WEC bantamweight champion at WEC 42 in August of 2009, beating heralded bantamweight kingpin Miguel Torres in quick fashion with a knockout performance.
Mizugaki narrowly edged prospect Reuben Duran at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann in March after losing to Urijah Faber in November by submission in the first round under the WEC banner. He racked up a 2-3 record in the WEC, and he's most well-known for giving Miguel Torres a run for his money in his debut at WEC 40, a championship title bout that earned Fight of the Night honors for both fighters.