It was a well-matched bout between a veteran whose best days were behind him in Takeya Mizugaki and a Mexican prospect on his way up in Erik Perez at UFC Fight Night 27. This time, though, it would be the veteran whose skills prevailed in an extremely well-matched bout.
The two opened the bout with a series of pocket exchanges, each landing and absorbing. Perez was able to connect repeatedly with hard overhand rights (and even a flying knee) while Mizugaki countered effectively with right hooks of his own. Perez was able to briefly secure a double leg takedown and kept the pressure on Mizugaki against the fence, but the Japanese fighter was able to stand every time. With near perfect timing, however, Mizugaki landed a double leg of his own as Perez sat hard on a missed combination of punches. The round would end with the two clinched along the fence.
Mizugaki, the veteran that he is, appeared to be doing much better in the second frame. While Perez was able to stop a shot from the WEC veteran, it was Mizugaki who scored the majority of the hard, well-placed strikes. He was able to slow the pace against Perez, giving him time to choose the time of the exchanges and score first. For his efforts, Perez attempted a number of takedowns as well as trying fence pressure, but it was Muzigaki who had the most meaningful offense.
The third began as the second ended with Mizugaki landed the better strikes and Perez trying to take the Japanese fighter down and apply fence pressure. Mizugaki appeared to be the better grappler of the two, taking Perez down, moving to the back and nearly scoring a fight-ending rear naked choke before the Mexican fighter managed to miraculously escape. He wasn't able to do much afterward, however, and the fight ended with the two jockeying for position along the fence.
The judges saw it 29-28 Perez, 29-28 Mizugaki and 29-28 Mizugaki.
Mizugaki moves to 18-7-2 in professional MMA while Perez slides to 13-5.