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Japanese strawweight prodigy Mizuki Inoue targeted by UFC

Esther Lin, Invicta FC

Strawweight prospect Mizuki Inoue won't be a part of season 20 of "The Ultimate Fighter," but it looks like she will be in the UFC soon after the new division debuts.

According to her manager Shu Hirata, the UFC has expressed strong interest in signing the 19-year-old Japanese fighter and having her debut in Asia. Hirata said Inoue wasn't a candidate to be on TUF because she doesn't speak English and her parents wouldn't let her be away from home for several weeks. She has one more fight left on her DEEP Jewels contract and would also like to compete one more time for Invicta FC. However, Hirata, Inoue and her Master Chairman Yamaguchi of Hakushinkai Karate would like her to fight in the UFC by at least the end of the year.

Considered a prodigy, Inoue (7-1, 1 NC) began training karate in the fourth grade and mixed martial arts in the sixth grade. She made her MMA debut when she was 16 years old in 2010. Her Invicta debut came in July 2013 and she defeated Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision. Her most recent submission win over Emi Tomimatsu on Feb. 16 was ultimately ruled a disqualification because she missed weight prior to the bout. She also has an 11-2 kickboxing record and has won multiple tournaments.

Sixteen female strawweights will compete on the 20th season of TUF for a chance to become the first 115-pound women's champion in UFC history. The promotion announced earlier this week that lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez will serve as the coaches on the show.

Below is video, courtesy of, who currently ranks Inoue as the eighth-best strawweight in the world, chronicling Inoue's MMA career, thus far.

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