UFC 135 Pre-Fight: Takeya Mizugaki Still Learning to Walk Before He Can Run

September 22, 2011

Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 40

Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 40

In the UFC, it’s not easy to put together a big string of victories when facing some of the top competition in a division.

Losses are just a part of the sport, but for Takeya Mizugaki, who still has dreams of again fighting for the bantamweight title he just wants to start that streak with one win.

The Japanese fighter has bounced back and forth between wins and losses over his last several fights and while his defeats have come at the hands of top fighters and former champions like Brian Bowles and Urijah Faber, he’s still learning what it means to become a top notch contender.

“I always said, “I wanna win two in a row” but it hasn’t happened again,” Mizugaki told MMAWeekly.com this week. “Partly its because all of my opponents has been very tough, all of them are top fighters, but in order for him to step up to become a title contender, first, I have to win few fights in a row.”

In his last fight, Mizugaki fought to a decision loss to former WEC champion Brian Bowles. The fight was much slower paced than what many people expected out of the two bantamweights, and Mizugaki knows he just didn’t pull the trigger and it cost him the chance to win.

“I don’t think that was a close fight, I lost that fight. Bowles capitalized on all of the turning points in that fight,” Mizugaki stated.

“I was too cautious, and my offensive attack was one-dimensional.”

So now Mizugaki starts over again looking for a win when he steps into the cage at UFC 135 to face another former WEC champion in Cole Escovedo.

To get running on a streak however, Mizugaki knows that he has to take a first step, and that’s winning his fight this weekend in Denver.

Studying Escovedo’s game, Mizugaki knows stylistically he matches up well with the American, but there’s always danger in that type of fight as well.

“Very technical, all-round fighter. I saw almost all of his past fights and I know if he gets into “his pattern” then he will be very tough to beat. His kicks are hard to see so I have to be really be careful,” Mizugaki stated.

“Sure I like fighting a striker but I believe its a greater risk to take on a striker too.”

If Mizugaki is successful his next goal will be to win a 2nd fight in a row, and despite an obvious homecoming fight for him in Japan in February of next year when the UFC travels there, he’s more concerned about consistency and staying busy.

“I think most of the MMA fans in Japan has never seen UFC show live so it would be good for the fans to be able to see the best MMA event in the world,” Mizugaki said.

“I haven’t fought in Japan for almost three years so some day I would like to fight in Japan again but for me its more important to be active on a steady pace instead of wanting to fight in this particular Japan show.”

So as he begins his path to hopefully start another winning streak, how does Mizugaki see his fight with Cole Escovedo ending?

“Should I say “I am going to finish him by an armbar?” Mizugaki said with a laugh.

“Of course I have to say I will win by KO.”

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