by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Before his second fight in the WEC, Takeya Mizugaki had already stated his intentions of making it back to another shot at current 135-pound champion Miguel Torres, but first he had to get past Jeff Curran. He did exactly that, winning a split decision at WEC 42 on Sunday night.
Mizugaki was well aware of his opponent’s considerable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background. Early on it was definitely Curran’s intention to get the fight to the ground, but he struggled with the Japanese fighter’s size and strength in the clinch.
As Curran pushed his opponent against the cage, it was Mizugaki who reversed position and took Curran down instead, where he started to reign down shots, using his ground and pound attack.
On the feet in the second round, Curran showed solid boxing, but again Mizugaki looked really crisp with his punches and his power definitely looked to stagger the Indiana based fighter at points.
Late in the fight with Curran using his guard game to control Mizugaki, he slapped on a tight triangle that could have very easily brought the fight to an end.
“It was actually a deep triangle, so I was just expecting Jeff to be that good on BJJ, but the only thing that got me out of that triangle was my heart,” Mizugaki said after the fight.
Holding on until the final horn, Mizugaki weathered a heavy storm of punches and reversals from Curran, who was trying his best to put the fight away, but time ran out.
In the end, Mizugaki got the nod from two of the three judges, earning a split decision win, and handing Curran his fourth loss in a row in the WEC. With the 135-pound title on the line later in the night on the same card, Mizugaki believes he’s closer to another shot, but still respects other top competitors in his weight class.
“Yes, I think I got one step close to another title shot at Miguel Torres, but we better find out what’s going to happen to (Joseph) Benavidez and what happens tonight,” Mizugaki commented following the win.
Mizugaki will celebrate the win and wait to see how the bantamweight title picture shakes out, while Curran will head back to the drawing board after suffering another tough defeat in a razor close fight.