LAS VEGAS -- Something had to give in the UFC 173 featherweight showdown between Japanese veteran Takeya Mizugaki and California's Francisco Rivera. Mizugaki came into the bout with four straight wins; Rivera with five (minus a no-contest).
After two back-and-forth rounds, though, Mizugaki clamped down in the third. Mizugaki earned a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with a pair of 30-27s and a 29-28.
In the opening round, Mizugaki dropped Rivera with a big right hand, and followed up, but Rivera managed to stem the tide. Rivera rallied for his own takedown. But Mizugaki got back to his feet, and the round ended with a frantic scramble.
The second round featured wild back-and-forth action. Rivera opened up a cut over Mizugaki's left eye. Mizugaki rallied for a takedown, but Rivera turned it into a tight choke. Mizugaki escaped, and after the two were stood back up, another more heavy hands on both sides ended the round.
Mizugaki left no doubt in round three, as he scored an early takedown and worked Rivera over for the bulk of the round.
Mizugaki improved to 20-7-2 with his fifth straight win, all of which have come by decision. Rivera dropped to 10-3.