After strong back-to-back-to-back wins (even as split decisions) over Bryan Caraway, Erik Perez, and Jeff Hougland, Takeya Mizugaki finds himself on the first win streak of his long Zuffa career. Not since his time among the ranks of Greatest Common Multiple and Shooto has the Hakkei Gym product seen this level of sustained success. For a fighter just reaching his career peak it couldn't come at a better time. Bleacher Report announces that Mizugaki will look to continue his run of strong performances against Nam Phan in Phan's bantamweight debut.
Mizugaki rose to fame early in his WEC run with an incredible performance against then WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres (who at the time was considered one of the top P4P fighters on the planet). For three years following that fight Mizugaki alternated wins and losses, dropping decisions to Scott Jorgenson, Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, and Chris Cariaso, while beating Jeff Curran, Rani Yahya, Reuben Duran, and Cole Escovedo. Recently, however, Mizugaki has looked to be tightening his game up a bit and now sits comfortably on a 3-fight win streak. With another couple of good performances he could see himself in title contention as he has yet to face either of the current champions.
Looking to stand in his way will be a new arrival to the division, former featherweight Nam Phan. Phan gained entry to the UFC as a contestant on the Ultimate Fighter Season 12: GSP vs. Koscheck where he advanced to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated by Michael Johnson. He's spent the last three years at featherweight going an unspectacular 2-3 (including a widely panned decision loss to Leonard Garcia), but following a strong showing against Cole Miller was utterly dominated by Dennis Siver at UFC on Fox 5. At only 5' 6" bantamweight may be better suited to his physique, but I wonder how well he matches with Mizugaki's polished boxing and quick footwork. Neither fighter is known as a spectacular power puncher, so I expect 3 rounds of high intensity action that may see Mizugaki's superior pace and conditioning make the difference.
UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Silva takes place on December 7 in Brisbane, Australia and will feature a heavyweight bout between Mark Hunt and Antionio Silva. Here's a look at the card so far:
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
Maurício Rua vs. James Te Huna
Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei
Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh
Nick Ring vs. Caio Magalhaes
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Nam Phan
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