UFC on Fuel TV 4: Breaking Down Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz
UFC 148 arrived and passed with still no title change at the middleweight as Anderson "The Spider" Silva continued his reign as champion over the UFC. Chael Sonnen fell for the second time to Silva creating an opportunity for another contender to earn a title shot.
On Wednesday, July 11, Chris Weidman takes on his biggest challenge yet since entering the UFC as Mark Munoz will stand across from the "All-American" in the cage with hopes of earning a title fight.
Munoz was scheduled to fight Sonnen for a number one contender spot until the former Oklahoma State wrestler suffered an arm injury. Michael Bisping filled in the gap after Munoz had to withdraw from the bout. Weidman found an opportunity taking a fight on short notice filling in for Bisping against Demian Maia.
Munoz is a former D1 2001 NCAA National Champion in wrestling and two-time All-American out of the elite Oklahoma State University. This will be Munoz's tenth fight in the UFC after entering in 2009. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" has a 7-2 record in the UFC and continues to excel in the wrestling aspect.
Since joining the UFC Munoz has avoided over 60-percent of his opponent's takdedowns, in addition to avoiding over 60 percent of strikes from opponents. The college wrestling national champion looks to use his 50-percent successful striking and his takedown defense to attack the up-coming middleweight Chris Weidman.
Weidman enters the fight on Fuel TV with a perfect record of 8-0 with four victories over UFC fighters. Since joining the UFC Weidman has impressed with two wins by the way of submission, and two by way of unanimous decision.
The Baldwin, New York native earned a victory over Demian Maia impressing Dana White, after having to cut 32-pounds in ten days taking the fight on short notice. The Hofstra University wrester was a two-time All-American in D1 as well as being a two-time junior College All-American while at Nassau Community College.
Weidman has a perfect takedown defense, which is accompanied by 69 percent success rate in takedowns. Similar to Munoz, Weidman has 67 percent in avoiding strikes, and has 38 percent success in striking, which is low due to the small number of fights the "All-American" has fought in.
Munoz is the elder of Weidman by six years being 34. This will be Munoz's second appearance in a headliner fight since joining the UFC, and will be Weidman's first headliner. Both fighters bring in a tremendous amount of talent and all fans should expect a tough fight full of heart from each warrior.
Striking will go to Chris Weidman and his six-inch reach advantage over Munoz. Being given time to cut weight in a healthy manner, expect Weidman not to get tired as quickly and throw accurate strikes. Expect a tough jab, and a nasty hook to surprise Munoz. Munoz has knockout power, but after suffering an arm injury that required surgery, don't expect to see the same kind of power in striking out of Munoz.
Each fighter neutralizes the others grappling abilities. Munoz is a collegiate national champion and Weidman is a multiple all-American in D1 wrestling. Will Munoz be the first to take Weidman down? Weidman's speed might be too much for the elder Munoz to drag him down.
Ground Game: Weidman
Weidman is also a US Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, which can play an effect in the ground game. He has controlled everyone he has fought after dragging them to the canvas. Having two submissions under his belt in the UFC, Munoz has more to worry about then just fists when on his back.
Prediction: Weidman via Decision
Expect to see a tough fought fight between to expert grapplers with a great amount of heart. Each fighter will be looking for an opportunity to become the next title contender. And an impressive performance from either man could put them right in front of a decimated middleweight division.
Photo courtesy mmavalor.com