This time last year Mark Munoz was firmly positioned in the UFC middleweight title shot mix, as the NCAA wrestling champ had defeated the likes of Demian Maia, Chris Leben, CB Dolloway and Aaron Simpson heading into UFC on FUEL TV 4. A win over Chris Weidman may not have led to a bout with Anderson Silva necessarily, but it would have been a massive step towards securing one. Instead, it was Weidman who used the July 11th match-up as a launching pad for entrenching a July 6th bout with Silva, by knocking out Munoz in the second round.
Now, interestingly enough, Munoz will look to get back on track the same night Weidman competes in the biggest fight of his life, versus Tim Boetsch. It’s an important bout for both men, as Boetsch is also coming off a stoppage defeat (versus Costa Philippou) and needs a win over Munoz to remain in the top ten rankings. Munoz is likely in the same boat. While speaking to RM Sports’ Rick Lee recently, Munoz had this to say about what’s riding on the UFC 162 match-up.
“To win this fight is extremely important. For me to be able to win and showcase my skills, and executing what I’ve been training for the whole camp, should I finish him, that would speak volumes. It would let everyone know that I’m back and I’m ready to go. Last fight wasn’t indicative of who I am, and a win over Tim Boetsch would definitely catapult me back into the title hunt.”
And in terms of what “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” thinks of Boetsch’s abilities and skill set?
“Tim is strong; he’s resilient, he can end a fight with one punch and he’s got good clinch work. Those are things that he possesses, so those are things that I need to think about, but at the sametime I need to think about what I do best and enforce it on him as well. If I keep thinking about what he does, I won’t do anything in the fight, so I need to be able to take the things I’m best at and execute it on him.”
It should be a good fight, and it will be interesting to see how each man’s wrestling skills factors in, and who looks to shoot first.
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