It isn't often that two fighters with such similar styles get to fight one another, but tonight (Dec. 6, 2013) at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia, we'll see exactly that, as Takeya Mizugaki takes on Nam Phan on the FOX Sports 2 "Prelims."
Both of these men are known for exciting, hard-nosed approaches to fighting, and I expect to see both of them come forward with reckless abandon when the cage door closes. Their styles are very focused on tight, close-range boxing, and they both sport very solid movement to compliment this style.
Mizugaki has been a professional fighter for some time and has competed against top level opposition, especially when you consider his time in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). This top-shelf experience means he is ready for almost anything, which makes preparing for him such a tough task. He is adept at fighting almost anywhere, but his preferred style tends to be a high-pressure, in-your-face attack, which is very fun to watch.
Although Phan has had more pro MMA fights than Mizugaki has, he certainly does not have the same level of experience. In my opinion, Phan's style is a more raw version of Mizugaki's: his striking is not quite as crisp, and his footwork is not all too comparable to his more mobile opponent. He makes up for this with his high work rate and heart, both of which are not to be underestimated, especially in fights that will likely go the distance.
In addition to their exciting striking games, both of these men are also fairly credible on the mat. Mizugaki is a solid positional grappler and is very good at maintaining top position while dishing out some damage while there. Phan sports five career submissions, and he is very good at getting up from his back, to get back to his preferred area of MMA.
What I expect this fight to be is a wild, high-paced brawl that sees a lot of ground covered. Both of these men move around the cage incredibly quick, and mixed in with their high-output offense, I think it will make for a great battle of two gritty boxers. Expect exchanges in very close range, and both men to come out having taken and given some very good shots.
At UFC Fight Night 33, Takeya Mizugaki and Nam Phan will steal the show with their frenetic pace, putting together a fight that I predict will earn "Fight of the Night" honors. They are both very hard workers who just don't quit, and I believe that will shine through come fight time.