Takeya Mizugaki put in a solid performance against Francisco Rivera tonight at UFC 173, showing a willingness to mix it with him on the feet, while also enjoying long spells of control on the mat.
They exchange early and Rivera lands the most meaningful blow. Mizugaki presses forward with strikes and Rivera tags him with a nice counter.
Some close range exchanges here in the opening minute initiated mainly by Mizugaki, but Rivera is game for it.
Rivera with a nice body shot and Mizugaki lands a nice punch of his own to the head.
Mizugaki lands a big right hand and Rivera seems hurt. A left hook and another right hand from Mizugaki and Rivera’s rocked and hits the mat.
Migauki on top now and taking his time rather than going all out for the finish here. Rivera getting some good time to clear the cobwebs here and then manages to get back upright.
He’s not completely free though as Mizugaki’s still clinching him up against the cage. Rivera landing some small shots and Mizugaki tries to take him down. However, Rivera defends and then manages to get him down.
Not for long though and they are back to the clinch before breaking apart.
Over to the other side of the cage they go and now Rivera is pressing his opponent against the cage. Rivera with a trip takedown, there’s a scramble and he fights to remain on top as the round ends.
They are back to slugging at close range early in the second with an even exchange. Rivera lands a head kick, but Mizugaki is ok.
Rivera tags him with some punches too. Mizugaki is very durable though. Rivera lands another good strike and Mizugaki looks for a takedown.
Doesn’t quite work out though and Rivera locks in a guillotine as they hit the mat. Mizugaki on top and stays patient, finally breaking free from the choke.
Mizugaki very patient again on top with Rivera sitting up against the cage. Finally Mizugaki works to his back and starts thinking about a rear-naked choke.
They are awkwardly pressed up against the cage though, so it’s a tricky spot to finish from here. 30 seconds left and try as he might Mizugaki can’t get his arm underneath Rivera’s chin.
Mizugaki with a jab to start the final round. Body kick from Rivera. A few shots coming up short from both men as they try to land heavy leather.
Left hand lands for Mizugaki as a little blood trickles down from his own right eye.
Mizugaki takes a kick, but lands a good punch in return and Rivera drops down to the mat. Mizugaki in his full guard and almost gets to half guard, but not quite. A few punches landing for Mizugaki, but just enough to keep the referee at bay.
A minute to go and the ref decides to stand them up due to a lack of action. Both men swinging and after a few misses they both land nice shots.
Last 15 seconds and they just start winging left and right hooks at each other with neither man giving an inch, but neither finding the killer blow to finish the fight inside the distance.
So it’s decision time and Mizugaki gets the unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2) and extends his current winning streak to five fights.