Mark “The Filippino Wrecking Machine” Munoz (12-2-0) vs. Chris “The All American” Weidman (8-0-0)
Mark Munoz has already stated that he will call out Anderson Silva after his fight tonight, and after going 8-1 in the division he may deserve a shot. The problem is a hot new prospect in the form of Chris Weidman stands in the way of his potential title shot. He should be worrying less about what’s after this fight, and more about the fight itself, as it could easily be his toughest to date.
Munoz has been grinding away in the middleweight division for nearly three years, and has had some great wins, but at the same time he has also had some unconvincing fights as well. No doubt Munoz has great wrestling, and power in his hands, but he might also have a questionable chin. Getting rocked by Kendall Grove, Demian Maia, and Yushin Okami does not look great when you are gunning for a fight against Silva; a man who can knock you out with the tiniest of opening. Against Weidman, Munoz will most likely need to take the fight to the ground and use his ground and pound. With a five inch reach disadvantage, he shouldn’t stand with Weidman unless he clinches and takes away the gap.
Weidman entered the UFC on short notice, with only four professional wins to his credit. He took out veteran UFC fighter Alessio Sakara on two weeks notice, and once again replicated his short notice fights when he took on Demian Maia on 11 days notice. Coming from the Serra-Longo camp in New Jersey, he possesses strong aspects from both his main coaches, in that he has great hands from Longo, phenomenal jiu-jitsu from Serra, and the wrestling background from his life before fighting. Against Munoz, he doesn’t want to end up on bottom, and while standing he just needs to stay away from his power shots.
The Bottom Line: Weidman will be able to pressure Munoz and eventual tire him out. Look for Weidman to get a submission in the second round.