Get to know Russell Mizuguchi before Bellator 213
First of all, how did you get into MMA? Do you have any background in any other martial arts?
I got involved because all my friends were doing it as it started to blow up here in Hawaii. I started doing it with my friends and it took off from there. I haven’t looked back yet (laughs).
How did you get the nickname “The Muscle”?
It came from my coaches, actually. I don’t think there was a lot of thought behind it — just a nickname that rhymes nicely (laughs).
What do you do for work or would MMA be your full-time job?
I’m in the national guard, but I only do that once a month, so MMA is my full-time job right now. I was full-time with the national guard before, but right now I’m a full-time fighter.
Who are you currently training with and who are some of your main sparring partners?
BOSSMMA; Toby Misech, Rico Abadilla, Dansen Cabinatan, Austin Block and Tyson Ortiz.
How is the weight cut to 125? What would be your diet plan during the weight cut?
It’s been a great cut, probably the best one of my career. I guess you get better over time and it’s pretty easy for me now. My diet is pretty simple — just lean foods at the right times. Lots of lean protein and vegetables and fruit, that’s mostly it, and water.
With all the talk about the flyweight division closing (UFC) do you plan on moving up to 135?
No, I’m going to stay at 125 regardless of what the UFC is doing. I’d like to sign with ONE FC, and I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at the 115-pound weight class since they have that there. The guys at 135 are just too big. If you’re fighting a guy with the same technique as you, the weight is going to play a big factor in the fight.
What has been the high of your mma career and what has been the low?
I think right now is the highest point so far, fighting for Bellator in Hawaii. This is a pretty big deal for me, and I’m really excited about this opportunity. Really, there haven’t been many low points. So far I’m 4-0 as a pro and I was 9-0 as an amateur, so there have mostly been high points. The lowest point may be having fights drop out — that always sucks (laughs).
What would be your favorite striking and grappling technique?
My favorite striking technique is a double jab, straight right. Favorite grappling technique would be the rear-naked choke.
Explain a normal day in the life of Russell Mizuguchi?
People might think I’m a little boring (laughs). My life is all focused on MMA training and preparing my body for the next training session. When I’m not training, I’m hanging out at home with my family.
What do you like to do outside of fighting?
(Laughs) That’s a good question. I used to play video games but not so much anymore. I like to watch movies. But MMA was always my hobby, even though it’s now my full-time job, so it gets most of my attention (laughs).
You’re fighting former Michael Nakagawa. What do you think of him as an opponent and how do you see this fight playing out?
We actually fought before. He seems like a cool guy, but I don’t think he offers me anything different now that he didn’t offer me in our first fight, you know? I like him, but I’m going to beat him again. I’m looking for a submission.
Why do you fight and who do you fight for?
Shit, that’s a good question. I fight because I love to do it. Whenever I’ve taken a break from MMA, I always end up back in the gym, always looking forward to my next fight. The who would be my family, my teammates, and coaches, and finally myself.
Going into 2019 what are your goals?
My goal is to get a contract with a big organization. A long-term contract with a big organization, then I’ll start working my way up the ladder, wherever that may be.