Former UFC and WEC Bantamweight superstar Takeya Mizugaki stepped away from professional MMA playground. His retirement announcement came per initial reports from MMA planet this Thursday.

The Japanese pro fighter has wrapped his 15 – year long career, setting up a standard for generations to follow in this particular wrestling discipline. The veteran has been the test and milestone that many bantamweights would have to take.

A role model in his league

Mizugaki was a Bantamweight champion who represented various organisations throughout his career. For those that don’t remember, Mizugaki contested for the WEC belt against Miguel Torres in 2009. That fight still stands as one of the best fights of the year.

Although he never competed for a belt in the UFC, Mizugaki faces some serious elite competition. After the WEC merger with UFC, Mizugaki naturally has become a member of the association. He went 8-6 with the promotion happening from 2011 to 2016. Battling against first league legends like Urijah Faber and Cody Garbrandt, he managed to secure his spot as a top-ranked contender during his UFC days.

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Takeya Mizugaki fought only 5 times during the last 4 years before announcing his retirement. His status as a top contender started to fade away as younger and stronger contestants were coming along. Without a doubt, he entered into the twilight of his career.

When we talk about Mizugaki, we think of him as a pioneer for smaller divisions in MMA. Starting in 2005, he consecutively won his first 6 fights. His start and setup were promising enough in order to move into more mainstream promotion. As he approached to the last days of his career, there were questions surrounding his agility and strength. Known for his durability back in the days, it appeared that Mizugaki’s stamina had given out.

Anthony Cassar makes his comeback to MMA

In other news, it seems like Penn State wrestling national champions continuously join MMA world. In recent years, former three-time national champion Ed Ruth transitioned to MMA and is currently 8-2 in the Bellator promotion, while fellow champion Bo Nickal started training with top contestant Jorge Masvidal in order to prepare for his entry in the ring.

These days another Penn State national champion makes this jump. Namely, Anthony Cassar who is the 2019 NCAA champion signed his new MMA management deal. This former heavyweight missed the 2020 season due to injury, but fans will now surely be excited when the big man makes his entrance in the octagon. However, Cassar will still run for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics in freestyle wrestling. He will wrestle for Team USA at 125 kg/275 pounds.

With the move to MMA after the Olympics, Cassar could end up training full time at American Top Team where Nickal has been training for quite a long time. The two of them were recently seen at the gym’s main location in Florida, training and rolling around with Masvidal as he awaits his next fight.

During an interview, Masvidal talked about his career plans and expressed his opinion on Cassar joining the crowd. In his style and form of expression, he stated that Cassar is a guy to look out for when it comes to wrestling and feels a bit inferior next to him when it comes to endurance and strength on the wrestling playground.

 

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