After fighting Torres in April, you gained thousands of new fans who were impressed by your performance.
How has your life changed since that fight? And what kind of response are you expecting from fans for your second fight in the US?
Well, in terms of changes in my life, actually, nothing really happened. (laugh)
I live in Japan so its hard for me to actually feel how US fans are thinking about me but I am looking forward to feel the responses from the fans in the states though.
I love the American fans and I hope I am relatively known in the states now.
So this time, I want to come up with a good result, and not only just winning the fight but also I am planning on an aggressive fight so I think I can show an exciting fight for the fans.
What’s the difference between fighting in the United States and fighting in Japan?
Its just in my weight class, the best fighters in the world are right now in America.
Do you wish you would have done anything differently in that fight against Torres?
My strategy was to not go to the ground. Maybe I should’ve done more ground and pound but at that time, that was the best I could have done.
It was a close fight but Miguel was superior than myself in terms of leaving a good impression on the judges. And from the fourth round, Miguel was better in the stamina department as well.
Did it take a long time for you to mentally get over the loss?
As soon as I got back to Japan, I immediately started to think, when is my next fight? So it didn’t take me that long to get over that fight.
Compared to my past fights, I did take good amount of damage in that fight, but I never had to check into to the hospital or anything like that.
Curran also has good punches but I think I am better standing.
I am a striker and I train everyday working on takedown defense so in terms of defense against his takedown attempts I am preparing for this fight just like any other fight.
Jeff Curran has fought some of the toughest competition in the WEC but lost his last three fights in a row. Are you expecting to face a desperate fighter?
First of all, I think Jeff Curran is a fantastic fighter who has been fighting on the world’s top level for a long time now.
Even though he may have lost the last couple fights, he still is one of the top fighters in the world.
So if I can beat him then it would prove that I am one of the top fighters in the world at 135 lbs as well.
Also Curran is famous in Japan as well so its a very good fight for me because a win in this fight would also show to the Japanese fans that I belong here, in the WEC, where the world’s best competition in MMA is being held.
And in terms of facing a desperate fighter, that’s the same for me. I lost the last fight so I have to win this fight.
Where do you think a win over Curran would place you in the WEC bantamweight division?
That is a difficult question to answer because in the WEC all of them are top fighters. But I would consider, a win a big step forward to another shot at the title.
And of course, If the WEC gives me another chance against Torres, I would take the offer in a second and I will fight him any day, anywhere.
I would even fight him after our fights in Vegas on August 9th! (laugh)
But in terms of how I am going to fight him, well, right now I am just concentrating on Curran so I really don’t know the answer to that question. Sorry!
How important is it for you to earn a convincing win in this next fight? And how would you like to finish this fight?
Again, Curran is a top fighter so if I can win this fight in a convincing manner then I am hoping to be back on the track towards another title shot.
And of course, I would like to finish with a KO and take that bonus home with me! (laugh)
PIC: Takeya Mizugaki loves American food. In his last fight against Torres, he was eating hamburgers and BLT’s and French fries till the day before the weigh-ins.