Mark Munoz made sure he remained at the top of the middleweight ranks this past July by defeating Tim Boetsch, and if the powerful grappler gets by Lyoto Machida this Saturday at UFC FN 30, he’ll be right in the title shot mix. It’s a really important fight for both men, which is why the scrap will headline the October 26th event.

While speaking to USA Today (MMA this week, here’s what Munoz had to say about what could be riding on the fight.

“I think with Lyoto going down to middleweight, and being a former champion, and fighting me, he definitely has a way to be able to fight for a title (quickly),” Munoz said. “But that’s only if he gets past me. I truly believe we both have a shot at a title after this fight.”

Of course, men like Vitor Belfort and “Jacare” Souza would likely disagree, and it could also depend on what goes down at UFC 168. Anderson Silva will look to avenge his loss to champion Chris Weidman at the event, and Munoz admits he’s somewhat conflicted about who he wants to win the December 28th scrap.

“Anderson’s my good friend, and I want nothing but the best for Anderson. I want him to win,” Munoz said. “But at the same time, I don’t want to fight my friend again (like with Machida). I want him to win the fight, but I also want Weidman to win because I want that rematch. Bad. Bad.”

The next few months are going to be interesting ones in the middleweight division, no question. Michael Bisping is also waiting on the sidelines, and should be ready to return in early 2014.

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