Looking back on his December 15 split-decision victory over Michael Nakagawa at Bellator 213, flyweight Russell Mizuguchi was able to overcome stepping onto a big stage and have a solid showing.
“The fight was a big difference compared to the littler shows that I always do,” Mizuguchi told MMAWeekly.com. “The lights, the big screen, it was different but it felt normal to me. People always talk about the emotions on the big shows and that, but I never got emotional or anything like that. I felt like I was at home.
“I really wanted to get a finish and I really worked hard to get a finish, but I guess (Nakagawa) was a lot more prepared than I thought he was. He is tough and hung in there. It was a good fight.”
The win over Nakagawa was Mizuguchi’s fifth to start out his pro career. It’s the kind of start that Mizuguchi is pleased to have, but he’s not one to rest on his accomplishments.
“It feels good,” said Mizuguchi. “Nothing’s better than winning. I’ve just got to keep moving and keep winning. I’ve got to get back in the gym and keep doing what I’m doing.”
One thing that Mizuguchi would want to see change as he moves forward is his level of activity. While he’s enjoyed upwards of six to eight months off between fights, he knows his activity level must increase if he wants to continue to move forward in the bigger shows.
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“That’s a big problem for me; I like my breaks as much as I like preparing for fights,” Mizuguchi said. “I’ve got to work on that. Now that I finally made it to a big show more opportunities will open up for me and getting more fights will be easier. That’s definitely something I want to work on for sure.”
When it comes to 2019, Mizuguchi has an idea of where he’d like to end up, but is open to whatever opportunities come his way.
“I always take it fight by fight, but I have my eyes locked on stuff,” said Mizuguchi. “I’d really like to get on ONE Championship. But we’ll see how it goes. Knowing me, I’ll probably take whatever pops up. The UFC I’m always down, Bellator I’m always down, whatever comes first, I guess.”