Francisco Rivera steps in to face Takeya Mizguaki at UFC 173

Francisco Rivera looks to punch his ticket to a higher top 10 ranking at UFC 173

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Takeya Mizugaki has been gunning for a top 10 fight for quite some time and it appeared he got his wish when he was scheduled to face TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173.  It all changed on Thursday night when the UFC pulled Dillashaw to fight in the new main event against bantamweight champion Renan Barao.

Luckily, in a last minute scramble the UFC was able to appease Mizugaki’s wishes of finding a top 10 opponent because heavy-hitter Francisco Rivera has accepted the bout and will fight the veteran Japanese bantamweight at UFC 173 in May.

Rivera (10-2, 1 NC) has been a wrecking machine since returning to the UFC in 2012.  He’s gone 3-0 with one no contest, knocking out his last two opponents inside the Octagon. 

The powerful bantamweight fighter was scheduled to fight Raphael Assuncao at UFC 170, but broke his hand during training and was unable to take the bout.  Now Rivera gets the chance to step and face an equally dangerous top 10 fighter in Mizugaki.

The final bout order for UFC 173 hasn’t been determined yet, but it’s likely the Rivera vs. Mizugaki fight will still remain on the main card.