Unbeaten through his last six fights, Francisco Rivera has stepped up to take on Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173 on May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Rivera will step into the bantamweight clash in place of TJ Dillashaw, who was originally slated to face Mizugaki. But was pulled from the match-up for a shot at the bantamweight champion Renan Barao and will be the main event of the fight card.
UFC officials confirmed news of the booking on Saturday.
Rivera was last expected to square off opposite Raphael Assuncao at UFC 170. But Rivera suffered an injury and withdrew from the bout just weeks before. Now healthy, Rivera is stepping in for Dillashaw against the #7 ranked Mizugaki. Following a No Contest at UFC 149, Rivera won back-to-back scraps. He took a win over Edwin Figueroa at UFC 156 and most recently George Roop. Both wins were by way of TKO.
Mizugaki has won four straight with his last two wins coming against Erik Perez and Nam Phan. For the most part, the Japanese fighter has seen decisions in his victories with the UFC. His last stoppage came against Cole Escovedo at UFC 135.