UFC 144 Results Recap: Takeya Mizugaki Vs. Chris Cariaso

Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

In the second bout of the UFC 144 preliminary card, Chris Cariaso picked up a controversial unanimous decision victory over Takeya Mizugaki. All three judges gave the fight to Cariaso by 29-28 scores. Cariaso spent extended parts of all three rounds on his back, but the judges concluded that he was able to overcome the Mizugaki takedowns with effective striking and submission attempts from the bottom, and he had the edge when both fighters were on the feet. Many disagreed with the decision including UFC president Dana White, who gave Mizugaki his win bonus even though he lost.

Cariaso started well, landing some solid strikes standing and catching Mizugaki in an omoplata in the first round. He also threw many elbows from the bottom. The second and third saw more even action on the feet, and Cariaso doing less from the bottom after Mizugaki got a takedown with two minutes to go in each round. Still though, the judges thought Cariaso was able to do enough for the W. The bout was the first aired on the FX portion of the broadcast. Cariaso improved to 3-1 in the UFC with the win, while Mizugaki dropped to 2-2 in the octagon.

What was the high spot of this fight?

Cariaso used a modified neck crank in the second round to attempt a sweep from the bottom. It was so unique that Joe Rogan didn't really know how to describe it.

Where do these guys go from here?

Cariaso is one of the smallest bantamweights on the roster and despite winning 3 of 4 bouts at 135 in the UFC, he said after the bout that he'd definitely consider a drop to the new flyweight division. It would be a great move for Kamikaze, and he would instantly become a contender at 125. Perhaps he can meet one of the losers of next weekend's flyweight semi-final fights in his next bout?

Mizugaki maintained his maddening streak of following up a win with a loss. He's clearly still a tough fight for any bantamweight and his momentum probably won't be slowed much by such a controversial loss, but it's still tough to see what kind of fight they give him next since he did lose. Walel Watson might be an interesting matchup for him.

Watch it now, later or never?

Later. It was at least somewhat entertaining and might be worth a watch just to see if you scored it the same way the judges did.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 144 in the full entry.

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