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Short notice gamble in Shenzhen pays off for Mizuki Inoue

It’s a short notice bout for Mizuki Inoue as she makes her UFC debut. The former DEEP Jewels 115lbs champion holds an overall 13-5 record that includes Invicta ‘Fight of the Night’ performances against now UFC contenders Alexa Grasso and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She lost a bout for the vacant Invicta Strawweight title and had one more fight at 115lbs before making her return to Flyweight in UFC.

Wu Yanan is currently 1-1 in UFC competition and 10-2 overall with her only losses against Yana Kunitskaya . Wu intends to establish momentum with back to back wins following her first round finish of Lauren Mueller via arm bar. However, Wu missed weight by 3 pounds and was fined 30% of her purse as the match proceeded at Catchweight.

Scheduled as the opening match up for the main card in Shenzhen, these woman’s Flyweight prospects have an opportunity to make an impact with a statement performance.

Mizuki comes rushing out to the center and her size disadvantage is immediately apparent compared to the wide and long frame of Wu.  Wu uses her kicks from the outside to maintain the distance, forcing Mizuki to feint her way inside, or do so on the counter while eating shots. Wu continues to attack the lead leg and transition into combos with the hands.

Wu often times is able to initiate leg and hand strikes simultaneously, trying to keep Mizuki out of rhythm and constantly searching for an opening from the outside. Mizuku shows good striking from their short time in the clinch. Wu surely is ahead on the scorecards after out striking Mizuku in the first round.

Wu opens with deadly combos and shows fluid transitions from legs to arm attacks, using each movements pivot point as a set up for the proceeding attack. Mizuki is much more fearless in her attempts to break inside as the striking opens up between the two. Mizuki is getting inside much more often in this second round and finding her path to success with hard elbows in the Thai clinch.

Wu’s striking has forced Mizuki to be much more aggressive and in turn she is establishing her rhythm. Her confidence in the pocket only grows as Wu’s excessive reach begins to sweep over the ducking stature of Mizuki. Wu shoots for a desperation take down on the smaller opponent and fails immediately. Wu drops low for her strikes now, but Mizuki locks her up in the clinch again delivering elbows. Wu keeps the contest close, but a much improved Mizuki must feel confident going into the third.  

Wu shoots for a second and third take down attempt, but her height makes it near impossible to get low enough on the diminutive Mizuki. Wu shows Mizuki her own elbows in the clinch this time as the two wrap up. Wu locks up the left arm and Mizuki works the body with the right. Wu abandons the clinch knowing that she must deliver after a questionable second round.

Mizuki remains tenacious and turns her pace up, constantly following Wu as she is now more so on the back foot. Wu gets more aggressive with her kicks, but Mizuki still has her on the run. As the round expires, they trade in the phone booth, but Wu hasn’t done enough as Mizuki edges the close (29-28) decision win on short notice.

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