by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The WEC bantamweight division has become one of the most compelling weight classes over the last few years, and one of its key additions was originally a late replacement in a title fight in April 2009. Takeya Mizugaki came in on short notice and took then champion Miguel Torres to a tough five-round decision.
Since then, Mizugaki has defeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Jeff Curran in another instant classic, but the Japanese fighter is now focused on Scott Jorgensen and a chance to get back to the title that he wants so badly.
With a record of 3-2 in the bantamweight division, Jorgensen is a tough fighter who has taken on some of the best 135-pounders in the weight class. Mizugaki knows what kind of challenge lays ahead for him.
“My impression of Jorgensen is rough, tough, and aggressive,” Mizugaki told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview.
To get ready for Mizugaki, Jorgensen has been working with Muay Thai champion Kit Cope to deal with the Japanese fighter’s striking attack. Still, Mizugaki believes Jorgensen will likely fall back on his wrestling.
“I actually would like to hear that (from) Jorgensen,” Mizugaki said with a laugh when asked if his opponent would stand with him. “But I am prepared to fight in standing, and also on the ground. I think his takedown power is very dangerous.”
Concentrating on strength and stamina for this fight, Mizugaki is focused on Jorgensen, but his eyes haven’t left the prize that is the bantamweight title that eluded him the first time around. Champion Brian Bowles is getting ready to defend his title for the first time in March. Mizugaki would be happy to become the second challenger should Bowles win.
“I think he is an extremely strong fighter,” Mizugaki commented about Bowles. “He has got a power to finish the fight.”
Another fight that could interest Mizugaki if he wins on Saturday night would be a rematch with Torres, who is also slated to return in March.
“Of course I would love to fight Torres again, but I prefer for the title fight though,” Mizugaki said. “But if the fans in the States want to see this rematch then I am all for it.”
Before he gets to Torres or Bowles, Mizugaki first has to get past Jorgensen on Saturday night at WEC 45.
“I like to thank everyone who helped me to train for this fight, especially Shuichirou Katsumura from the Reversal Gym,” said Mizugaki in closing.
“I would like to thank Sprawl for the continuing support, and also, Affliction and Seven Deuce Inc. for choosing me to work with, and of course, I like to thank my long time sponsors, American Spartan, Hayabusa, Fighter Warehouse, KUBED.