Munoz and Leben traded punches and takedowns in an exciting opening round, but Leben looked tired as they began the second round of the UFC’s first five-round non-title fight.
Munoz took contol in the second, pummeling Leben with ground and pound that left “The Crippler” bloodied and his eye swelling. Leben continued to look for a finish and persuaded the referee to let him finish the round, but his corner called the fight with Leben unable to see out of his left eye, giving Munoz the win.
Munoz improves to 12-2 with his fourth-straight win, while Leben falls to 22-8 after winning 4 of his last 5.
In UFC 138’s co-main event another contender may have also earned a title shot, as bantamweight Renan Barao submitted England’s Brad Pickett in the opening round to improve to 2-0 in the UFC with his 27th-straight win.
Terry Etim’s 17-second guillotine of Edward Faaloloto highlighted the rest of the main card, while Thiago Alves and Anthony Perosh also scored submissions over Papy Abedi and Cyrille Diabate respectively.
The complete UFC 138 results were:
- Mark Munoz def. Chris Leben via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
- Renan Barao def. Brad Pickett via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 4:09
- Thiago Alves def. Papy Abedi via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 3:32
- Anthony Perosh def. Cyrille Diabate via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 2, 3:09
- Terry Etim def. Edward Faaloloto via submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 0:17
- John Maguire def. Justin Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Phil De Fries def. Rob Broughton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Michihiro Omigawa def. Jason Young via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Che Mills def. Chris Cope via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:40
- Chris Cariaso def. Vaughn Lee via unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)