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UFC Commentator Takeya Mizugaki Shares Insights on ROAD TO UFC 2

LockerRoom Team
26 August 2023

Takeya Mizugaki, a prominent voice in the world of UFC commentary, recently offered his perspectives on the ROAD TO UFC tournament, shedding light on the competition's impact and the intriguing semifinal matchups.

The seasoned commentator highlighted the tournament's significance for fighters from various Asian countries and shared his thoughts on the upcoming bouts.

UFC Commentator Takeya Mizugaki on ROAD TO UFC:

"I watched last year's Road To UFC Season 1 and felt that UFC created a fantastic format. Despite having many young and talented fighters in Japan, it has been challenging for them to challenge the number one organization, UFC. So, I was delighted to see many Japanese fighters participating in Road To UFC Season 1 and two of them secured contracts. The matches conveyed the passion and determination of the fighters, resonating with the fans.

"Historically, Japan, South Korea, and China have led the MMA scene in Asia, but I was surprised to witness the evolution of fighters from countries like India and Indonesia as the tournament progressed. This tournament presents significant opportunities for Japanese fighters, but I also feel that as these other countries' fighters continue to improve, they could become formidable contenders.

"However, it's important to note that obtaining a UFC contract isn't the ultimate goal for every fighter. Besides Japan, South Korea, and China, if fighters from countries like India and Indonesia also excel and raise the overall level of Road To UFC competition, it will boost expectations for their performance in the UFC after securing contracts.

"I hope Road To UFC continues to be held regularly, leading to an increase in the overall level and popularity of MMA throughout Asia."

On ROAD TO UFC Season 2 semifinalists Xiao Long vs Shuya Kamikubo:

"I identified Kamikubo as a top contender before the opening round. However, in the first round he had a tougher fight than expected, securing a victory via a split decision. He struggled to execute takedowns and couldn't bring the fight to his preferred style, which seemed to exhaust him. It will be interesting to see how he approaches his next fight after experiencing such a challenge.

"Xiao Long had a victorious first round against Nose, successfully defending against his takedown attempts. Kamikubo’s style revolves around gradually advancing his position and chipping away at his opponents once he gets the takedown, so this could be difficult for Xiao Long to counter. Xiao Long might see this as an opportunity to keep the fight on the feet, as he can capitalize on his striking.

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"The key aspects to watch will be how Kamikubo can execute his takedowns and whether Xiao Long can defend or counter and take the fight to his own ground game. The initial takedown attempts by Kamikubo will be crucial in shaping the course of the fight.

On ROAD TO UFC Season 2 semifinalists Daermisi Zhawupasi vs Chang Ho Lee:

"Until recently, Japan and South Korea were the leading forces in Asian MMA. However, with two Chinese fighters making it to the semifinals in the highly competitive bantamweight division, it's evident that China's evolution in the sport is remarkable. Zhawupasi is known for his strong grappling skills and aggressive pursuit of submissions. Chang Ho Lee is a well-rounded fighter, and it seems he might have an advantage in striking exchanges. The key to this matchup could be whether Zhawupasi can successfully execute takedowns.

"If Chang Ho Lee cannot establish a striking advantage, the fight could become intriguing. Chang Ho Lee 's ground and pound style against Zhawupasi's submission attempts would make for a highly engaging battle. Watching how Zhawupasi counters from the bottom against Chang Ho Lee's top position and ground-and-pound, or how Chang Ho Lee deals with Zhawupasi's submission attempts and scrambles, are elements that personally I would love to witness. It's the kind of showdown where the fight's outcome may be decided based on the grappling exchanges."

On ROAD TO UFC Season 2 finals:

"I predict that Kamikubo and Chang Ho Lee will advance to the finals. I believe that despite Xiao Long's overall improvement as an MMA fighter, Kamikubo’s dominant pattern may surpass him. As for Chang Ho Lee, I feel that he is well-balanced and can handle both striking and grappling, which could give him an advantage in the fight.

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"Having said that, I truly believe all four fighters are strong contenders and have the potential to reach the finals, making the semifinals incredibly exciting. Predicting the outcomes of these high-level matches is difficult, but it certainly adds to the anticipation and excitement surrounding the tournament. We'll have to wait and see how the semifinals play out, and regardless of the results, it promises to be an engaging and competitive event."

What are your thoughts on the preview? Let us know in the comments below.

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