Image via UFC.com
Takeya Mizugaki likely put up the best fight of his WEC/UFC career in defeating Cole Escovedo by second-round TKO in a bantamweight bout at UFC 135. He used some excellent boxing and managed to shake off Escovedo's attempts to pull guard in the first round. Escovedo did end the round with a nice elbow, but Mizugaki came out on fire in the second and picked Escovedo apart.
Takeya knocked down Escovedo early, and kept up the assualt. Escovedo kept looking for the thai clinch, but Mizugaki deftly boxed around it and landed a bunch of solid shots. Eventually Mizugaki landed a solid combination and a left hook that dropped Escovedo again, and a few more shots on the ground forced the referee to step in. The bout was the second fight on the preliminary portion of the UFC 135 broadcast, and was streamed on Facebook.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Mizugaki's clever use of striking while Escovedo had him locked up in the thai clinch was really impressive. The other high point was midway through the first round, which Escovedo jumped on Mizugaki standing and basically climbed right up him looking to lock on a submission. Mizugaki shook his body until Escovedo slipped down a bit, then promptly slammed him to the mat.
Where do these guys go from here?
Mizugaki has had a rollercoaster of a Zuffa career so far, alternating wins and losses for eight straight fights in the WEC and UFC now. He's 2-1 in the UFC though, and with the division still in the development stage, his job is very secure. It's unlikely that he'll be in the title mix anytime soon, but he's a solid, exciting fighter that the UFC can stick in any bout and they know it will be competitive. A bout with Michael McDonald would be a solid test for both.
As for Escovedo, he's been competitive in his two UFC fights and both were against top-caliber guys. But he's 0-2 now, and he might be looking for a job. The UFC has been on a bantamweight signing spree lately though, and it's entirely possible that Cole gets another fight against the likes of Donny Walker.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. UFC 135 wasn't the most exciting event, and this was easily one of the best three fights on the card. If you're picking and choosing between fights to watch, this one should be on your list.
More BE coverage of in the full entry.