PRO MMA ( was notified by the World Extreme Cagefighting organization on Monday that Japanese MMA fighter Takeya Mizugaki (11-3-2) will return to the WEC cage on Aug. 9, 2009 to face veteran Jeff Curran (31-11-1) at “WEC: Torres vs. Bowles” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mizugaki, a Shooto veteran, proved his mettle to American MMA fans in April in his WEC debut when he took bantamweight champion and number one ranked bantamweight in the world Miguel Torres the five-round limit. Mizugaki lost the unanimous decision against Torres but let it be known a new bantamweight was in town to contend with.

MIzugaki commented on his anticipated return to the WEC through translator Shu Hirata, “I love the American fans and I want to come up with a good result this time. I want to show the fans here and in Japan that I belong in the WEC, where the world’s best competition in MMA is being held.”

Aware of Curran’s prominence in the sport, Mizugaki still believes he could be the first person since 2001 to knock out Big Frog, “Jeff is a fantastic fighter and he’s famous here in Japan because he’s been fighting on the world’s top level for a long time. But I’m planning on an aggressive fight with a KO finish. This will be an exciting fight for fans.”

He knows Curran is first on the agenda, but Mizugaki says he is ready for another shot at the title, “I’m not looking past Curran, but I’d fight Torres again immediately after our fights on Aug. 9. I will fight him any day, anywhere. If I beat Curran, I will prove that I am one of the top 135 pound fighters. If the WEC gives me another shot at Torres after that, I would take the offer in a second.”

Curran, who surprisingly has lost his last three bouts, desperately needs a win to get back on track. He lost to Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, and Joseph Benavidez, in that order. Mizugaki will be another stern test for the BJJ black belt.

Curran appreciates Mizugaki’s striking skills but feels he will be able to hang with him, “I was impressed by Takeya Mizugaki and his striking in April. But I would say that most people just don’t know how good my hands really are because I never get into a boxing match during my fights. I know if I were to simply box Mizugaki, he would have his hands full.”

“WEC: Torres vs. Bowles” will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on Aug. 9, 2009. Tickets are on sale now and priced at $40, $55, $85, $100, $125, $175, and $225. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the Hard Rock Box Office. Tickets also are available online through or

By: Jack Bratcher

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