Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
As the MMA world comes down from the high that is Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen II at last Saturday’s UFC 148, the next challenger to the middleweight throne may be named today at the forthcoming UFC on Fuel.
Tonight, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz will lock horns with Chris Weidman in San Jose. While Weidman is no slouch, this should be Munoz’ coming out party, the final battle in a campaign to prove the prospect is ready for a title shot (Interesting fact Munoz was once one of Silva’s training partners).
And who better than Munoz? The former Division One wrestling standout rides a four fight winning streak into the bout. Weidman brings an undefeated eight-fight professional career into the contest and is no push over. He was last seen topping Demian Maia at UFC on Fox (another interesting fact: Weidman fought on less than very short notice and dropped some 30-pounds to make the 185-pound weight limit).
A win over Munoz may not earn him a title shot, but it definitely put his name in the conversation.
The problem is…how does Weidman win the fight? Munoz’ game has improved by leaps and bounds since he arrived in the Octagon. He had the wrestling pedigree upon arrival and now packs dynamite in his hands and feet. Yes, Weidman has stopped a few people, but Munoz can take a punch and will prove a formidable foe when it comes to grappling.
But then again, if Weidman can cut 30 pounds in a week, maybe we shouldn’t totally count him out?
If you’re a betting individual, look for Munoz to hand Weidman the first L of his career en route to a bout with Anderson Silva at the end of the year or early next.
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Coming up next: UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman is live from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. TONIGHT at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET . . . More