At UFC 132, former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles (9-1) will look to place himself in title contention after taking on exciting striker Takeya Mizugaki (14-5-2) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
In his time with the WEC, Bowles defeated the likes of Damacio Page, Marcos Galvao, and then WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres via crushing knockout in the first round.
The Athens, Ga., native most recently returned to action after a near year-long layoff when he defeated Damacio Page in a rematch at UFC on Versus 3 back in March. It was on this night that history repeated itself, and the former WEC bantamweight champion submitted Page once again via guillotine choke at 3:30 into the first round, the exact same finish, time, and round as their initial meeting. Also, to add icing on the proverbial cake, Bowles captured another “submission of the night” bonus.
“The whole week I was there, I was just super excited to be fighting, to be healthy,” Bowles told MMAWeekly Radio. “The training camp went well. Everything was just going good for me, it felt like the good ole’ days.
“I knew he was super tough. I knew I could beat him, so I just went in there confident. I was just trying to do what I do. I was just trying to get the win, stay healthy, and I’m just trying to make it back. I want to be fighting for the belt again.”
Now with one fight under his belt in the UFC, the HardCore Gym pupil wants to remain active and is looking forward to testing himself against his Japanese adversary.
“I’m excited. I’ve got one fight in this year. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get multiple fights in. You know he’s a good opponent, he’s always in an exciting fight, and I’m really excited for this one.”
The former WEC champion is happy to fight someone with the style of Mizugaki, because he’s tired of fighters who only come to win, and not put on an exciting show for the fans. Bowles has great admiration for his Japanese foe, but he feels he has a clear advantage anywhere the fight goes.
“It’s a fight that I can win, but of course I feel like I can beat anybody. I think he’s really tough, he’s well rounded, and he’s not really stand out in any one position. He always comes to fight. I hardly ever see him have a boring fight, I’m really kind of a fan of him and I like watching him fight because he has such exciting fights. I just feel like I should win the fight and I got to go out there and do what I do.
“It’s always exciting to know that some wrestler isn’t going to take you down and just hump on you for 15 minutes. He’s going to mix it up, that’s what I like to do, is mix it up. I think if the fans wanted to see a jiu-jitsu match they wouldn’t come and watch MMA. If they wanted to see boxing, they wouldn’t come to watch MMA. It’s always good knowing that you’re going to fight someone who’s going to mix it up and have an exciting fight.”