Mizuki Inoue got back to winning ways at UFC Vegas 79 last weekend. The Japanese fighter was returning to the octagon after a three year absence but made a successful return, claiming a decision win over Hannah Goldy.

Afterwards Inoue sounded relieved more than elated. She hadn’t won a fight since making her UFC debut in 2019 and was coming off ACL surgery after suffering a serious knee injury.

She walked away with the decision win but was not particularly happy with her performance,

“I was so happy to win. It was my first fight in three years so it took me a while to get into the rhythm, midway through I felt I was losing.”

Different routes

Inoue won 29-28 on all three scorecards. But remarkably the judges could not agree on a single round, with all three of them reaching the same total by completely different routes.

It is so long since Inoue last fought that she was understandably nervous,

“It was my first time walking out to the octagon in three years so I was determined to fight but the nerves kicked in.”

She admitted that there was plenty of room for improvement,

“I know I have to go back and improve and come back stronger next time.”

Long wait

Having had to wait four years for her second UFC win she hopes that the next victory will be just around the corner. Perhaps the biggest positive for Inoue was that her reconstructed knee survived the 15 minute examination unscathed.

Some athletes are never the same after ACL surgery so Inoue was understandably happy to have emerged from the fight without having suffered any serious damage,

“Luckily I have no injuries. I need a bit of time to get back in fighting mode again but I would like to get back into the octagon as soon as possible.”

Inoue, alongside Kanako Murata, is one of just two female Japanese fighters on the UFC roster. Her career clearly hasn’t gone the way she would have wanted this decade but the 29 year old is back on track.