“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”
~ Charles Swindoll
For his first fight after signing with Zuffa, Japanese bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki got the opportunity of a lifetime, but didn’t have much time to prepare for it.
Stepping in on short notice, Mizugaki faced then champion Miguel Torres with the 135-pound title on the line, and what resulted was a five-round classic battle between the two fighters.
It’s those kinds of opportunities that Mizugaki always jumps at, but like anything in life, the end result doesn’t always go his way.
This time around, Mizugaki will face former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles at UFC 132, and he’s looking to get back into the contender’s picture with a win.
“I feel very lucky that I am able to face world’s top fighters. I feel I am probably like eight or ninth in the world at 135-pound division, so for me to be able to fight a top five guy, that is an opportunity,” Mizugaki told MMAWeekly.com.
“Zuffa gave me an opportunity to fight for the title (vs. Torres) and to fight their biggest star (vs. Urijah Faber), but unfortunately I couldn’t come through with a win, so this time, I want to be able to capitalize on this opportunity.”
To do so, Mizugaki has to face one of the toughest fighters in the weight class. A fighter that hasn’t tasted defeat outside of his loss to current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, in a bout that was stopped after Bowles broke his hand and couldn’t continue.
Bowles is known for huge power in his hands and a deadly submission arsenal, but he’s also known for exciting fights. The same goes for Takeya Mizugaki, but for this fight he may not leave a lot to chance because winning is the best way to achieve your goals in the UFC.
“Right now, my prime goal is to win two-in-a-row in the Octagon, so I am not thinking about providing an exciting fight. I am only thinking about winning,” Mizugaki stated.
Prior to the fight, Bowles has been very vocal about how he wants to get a win and then challenge the victor between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber. Mizugaki isn’t offended that Bowles wants to fight for the belt, or even that he’s talking about it before their fight takes place.
As a matter of fact, Mizugaki wants Bowles to be the top contender and No. 1 fighter at 135 pounds when they face off on Saturday night, so when he beats him the win looks all that much better.
“I actually totally understand that concept. It would be an ideal story for Brian if he can win and get a title shot, but that also means that I also have an opportunity here. If I win, then I can step up on that ladder to the title shot,” Mizugaki said.
“My goal is to became a UFC champion; there is no doubt about that. And I am willing to take whatever the fight necessary to get another shot at the title.”
Mizugaki will definitely take a big step forward if he is able to take out Brian Bowles at UFC 132. The fight between Bowles and Mizugaki will be the featured bout on the Facebook undercard kicking off at 6pm ET on Saturday from Las Vegas.