Nam Phan’s bantamweight debut was a thrilling one, but when it was all over at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the win went to streaking contender Takeya Mizugaki, who picked up his fourth consecutive victory via unanimous decision in UFC Fight Night prelim action.
Scores for Mizugaki were 30-28 and 29-28 twice.
The two bantamweights traded bad intentioned punches for the first 90 seconds, with Mizugaki holding the edge and then finishing off a nice takedown that piled up even more points. The two rose fairly quickly and resumed the striking exchanges until another takedown by Mizugaki. After another rapid return to the feet, the punches kept flying, but most of them were being landed by Mizugaki, who ripped off flush blows to head and body.
Forty seconds into the second round, a left hook dropped the steel-chinned Phan, who remarkably got back to his feet and weathered a furious follow-up attack. The attempt to finish looked to fatigue Mizugaki for a spell, allowing Phan to clear his head and begin to get back into the fight, and in the final minute, Phan did just that, landing with some hard shots before the bell.
After being told by his corner that his career was on the line, Phan went on the attack with an added sense of urgency in the final round, rocking Mizugaki pretty badly with a left hook in the second minute. The Kanagawa native recovered and began swinging again, and coupled with Phan’s busy attack, one of the best rounds of the year resulted, as both fighters went for broke in search of the win, which deservedly went to Mizugaki.
With the victory, Mizugaki upped his record to 19-7-2; Phan falls to 18-13.
MAGALHAES vs. RING
In middleweight action, Brazil’s Caio Magalhaes made it two straight with a unanimous decision win over Nick Ring.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Magalhaes, now 7-1; Ring falls to 13-3.
There was solid action in the first round, with Ring surging ahead thanks to an effective clinch attack and quality work on the mat. In the second, Ring continued to control the action as he mixed up his striking and ground game effectively. Even when reversed on the mat, Ring stayed busy, but Magalhaes was working as well, making for some interesting exchanges.
In the second minute of the third round, Magalhaes briefly rocked a fatigued Ring, and the bout strayed back to the canvas, with the Brazilian in control in the top position. Surprisingly, referee Cameron Quinn restarted the action, and after the two went to the mat again, Quinn restarted them a second time. That didn’t deter the middleweights, who finished the bout on the ground, with Magalhaes leading the way and securing his win.
SCOGGINS vs. VACULIK
Flyweight phenom Justin Scoggins lived up to all the pre-fight hype before his UFC debut against TUF Smashes alum Richie Vaculik, impressively stopping his foe in the first round to move to 8-0 as a pro.
The 21-year-old Scoggins threw everything at Vaculik (9-3) from the opening bell, using a diverse array of kicks, a takedown, and a right hand-induced knockdown to put the Sydney native on the defensive immediately. Once on the mat, Scoggins kept the pressure on, moving into the mount and then taking Vaculik’s back, with a series of unanswered strikes prompting referee Steve Perceval to halt the bout at 4:43 of the round.
JOTKO vs. SANTOS
Polish middleweight Krzysztof Jotko kept his unbeaten record intact his UFC debut, scoring a three round unanimous decision over fellow newcomer Bruno Santos.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Orneta’s Jotko, now 14-0; Bahia, Brazil’s Santos falls to 13-1.
After the lanky Jotko kept Santos at bay for the first minute and a half of the fight, Santos forced him into a grappling war of attrition for the rest of the opening stanza, at least until referee John Sharp restarted the stalled action with 21 seconds left in the round.
Sharp tried his best to get the combatants to pick up the pace in round two, but to no avail, and the fans began to boo. With under 30 seconds to go though, Jotko finally got the crowd into the fight with a short left hand the dropped Santos to the mat, the biggest offensive burst of the bout by far.
Encouraged by his strong finish to round two, Jotko came out confidently for the final round, but it was Santos who finally got the big takedown he needed to get back in the fight. Nearly getting a rear naked choke, Santos got reversed with under two minutes remaining in the bout, and Jotko let go with ground strikes, holding the top position until the final bell.
GARCIA vs. WALL
In an opening clash of welterweight newcomers, Dominican Republic native Alex Garcia didn’t stick around long, impressively knocking out Brisbane native Ben Wall in the opening minute of the first round.
Garcia was on target with his strikes from the opening bell, and he didn’t let up until the bout ended. A right uppercut to the jaw spelled the beginning of the end for the TUF Smashes vet, as it doubled Wall over, with the subsequent follow-up shots bringing in referee Cameron Quinn to stop the fight at the 43 second mark.
With the win, Garcia improves to 11-1; Wall falls to 7-1-1.