Following a wild first round where Jamie Varner fought through a broken ankle until his corner and doctors stopped the bout, Takeya Mizugaki and Francisco Rivera were ready to step into the cage in a battle of bantamweights looking to throw their name into the title mix.
Mizugaki has always been a warrior, while Rivera has the one-punch knockout power that is rare for his weight class.
We would have to see whether Mizugaki’s chin or Rivera’s gas tank would give out first.
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Round 1: Rivera landed a big shot early as Mizugaki was coming forward, but Mizugaki just tucked his chin and showed that he was not going to be afraid to push forward. Mizugaki landed a big time right hand that sent Rivera crumbling to the canvas and Mizugaki jumped on top of him looking to get the finish. Rivera was able to hang on for dear life and regain his wits. Rivera was hanging along the cage before landing a trip and taking over the dominant position. Mizugaki circled around to get Rivera’s back up against the cage again before separating and going back to the center of the cage. After a wild exchange, the bell rang to signal the end of the round. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Mizugaki
Round 2: Rivera was hesitant in the second round likely as a result of the big right hand that he ate in the first, before throwing a head kick that landed. However, Mizugaki’s chin continued to hold up and he was unfazed by the shots. Rivera dropped for a guillotine, but he did not have the full guard and Mizugaki was surviving. Rivera let go and gave top position to Mizugaki, who began to work from half guard. Mizugaki was controlling Rivera up against the cage as he looked to pull his hips away from the cage. Mizugaki was successful and transitioned to Rivera’s back where he worked for the rear-naked choke. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Mizugaki (20-18, Mizugaki)
Round 3: Rivera was pressing forward in the final frame looking for a big knockout, while Mizugaki was staying calm and being patient with his attacks. Blood was flowing from above both of Mizugaki’s eyes, but he perfectly timed a straight right as Rivera went for a kick and he ended up dumping Rivera to the mat. Mizugaki worked from Rivera’s guard. Rivera had nothing off of his back as Mizugaki grinded away for a majority of the round. The fight was stood up with about a minute to go, but Rivera was just plodding around the cage and unable to land a shot that would put Mizugaki away. To get the fans on their feet, the bout ended with both men standing in the pocket for a wild exchange. FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Mizugaki (30-27, Mizugaki)
Official Result: Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Below are the current UFC 173 results:
- Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- James Krause def. Jamie Varner via TKO (doctor stoppage) — Round 1 (5:00)
- Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 4:06
- Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 0:57
- Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Jingliang Li def. David Michaud via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)