Ht: 5’7 – Wt: 135 – Age: 29
Born: Ibaragi, Japan
Fights out of: Kanagawa, Japan
Team: Shooting Gym Hakkei
Overall Record: 16-7-2
UFC Record: 3-2
Takeya Mizugaki started out his promising career in the famed Shooto organization. He quickly compiled a 6–0 record before struggling to an 0-2-2 record against stiffer, more-experienced competition like Kenji Osawa and Atsushi Yamamoto. Mizugaki moved on to the Cage Force promotion where he found instant success, winning the bantamweight championship before signing with the WEC in 2009. Mizugaki’s WEC debut came under than less than ideal circumstances as he faced Miguel Torres on short notice for the WEC bantamweight championship. Mizugaki battled Torres for 5 hard-fought rounds, but ultimately came up short. Despite losing, Mizugaki picked up a legion of new fans due to his perseverance and toughness. Unfortunately, Mizugaki has been unable to mount any type of winning streak since joining the WEC and UFC, continually trading wins and losses. Mizugaki has shown he belongs by defeating Rani Yahya and Cole Escovedo, but has fallen short when facing elite competition such as Urjiah Faber, Brian Bowles, and Scott Jorgensen.
Mizugaki fought three times in 2011 amassing a 2-1 record.
Mizugaki made his UFC debut at UFC Live 3 against Reuben Duran after his original opponent, Francisco Rivera, was forced off the card due to injury. Mizugaki and Duran split the first 2 rounds before Mizugaki pulled away in the final frame with his takedowns. Mizugaki earned a split decision victory, but it was a little too close for comfort considering Duran was making his debut on short notice.
Mizugaki moved on to face top contender Brian Bowles at UFC 132. The fight started out fairly even until the 2nd round where Bowles rocked Mizugaki with a big right hand ultimately paving the way for a unanimous decision victory.
Mizugaki once again fell short against an elite opponent, but looked to bounce back against former WEC bantamweight champion Cole Escovedo at UFC 135. After a back-and-forth 1st round, Mizugaki finished Escovedo with strikes in the 2nd round.
Mizugaki has turned into a gatekeeper of the bantamweight division. He’s a tough matchup for most mid-tier fighters, but has struggled to compete with elite wrestlers and strikers. Mizugaki will be facing Chris Cariaso at UFC 144 in his native Japan. With a win, Mizugaki will likely face another top opponent, but a loss could put his UFC career in jeopardy. Mizugaki is a dangerous striker with solid grappling skills, but his lack of strength and wrestling will likely continue to keep him on the fringe of contender status.
Takeya Mizugaki Fight Record
Overall Record: 15-6-2
2008-2011 Record: 7-4
2011 Record: 2-1
Win | Cole Escovedo | Dec | Rd 2 | UFC | 09/24/2011
Loss | Brian Bowles | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 07/02/2011
Win | Reuben Duran | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 03/03/2011
2010 Record: 1-1
Loss | Urijah Faber | Dec | Rd 1 | WEC | 11/11/2010
Win | Rani Yahya | Dec | Rd 3 | WEC | 04/24/2010
2009 Record: 1-2
Loss | Scott Jorgensen | Dec | Rd 3 | WEC | 12/19/2009
Win | Jeff Curran | Dec | Rd 3 | WEC | 08/09/2009
Loss | Miguel Torres | Dec | Rd 5 | WEC | 04/05/2009
2008 Record: 3-0
Win | Masahiro Oishi | Dec | Rd 2 | | 12/06/2008
Win | Daisuke Endo | Tko | Rd 1 | | 09/27/2008
Win | Daichi Fujiwara | Tko | Rd 1 | | 06/22/2008