Mark Munoz’s first fight against a top 185lber didn’t go his way, but the second trip was more successful pulling off a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 131.
If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.
Mark Munoz’s first test against a top ten middleweight didn’t go his way as he lost a decision to current No. 1 contender Yushin Okami.
His second chance was a hard fought battle, but Munoz came out on top as he defeated Demian Maia at UFC 131 to climb another rung in the middleweight divisional ladder.
Most assumed that with Munoz’s wrestling pedigree and thunderbolt for a right hand that he would have the advantage on his Brazilian counterpart on the feet. Well, Maia had a few surprises in store for Munoz in that department.
Showing much improved striking, Maia came out blazing in the first round, clipping Munoz with strikes and even putting him on wobbly legs midway through the initial 5 minutes.
“He did surprise me, he caught me in that first round, I was doing the stanky leg,” Munoz admitted after the fight.
Once Munoz figured out Maia’s new found stand-up, he knew the best plan of attack to keep the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace on the defensive. Munoz launched a counter attack with punches of his own throughout the final two rounds, backing Maia off from his early striking success.
Mark Munoz and Demian Maia at UFC 131.
Munoz even took the fight to the ground, and unleashed his powerful punches to Maia’s legs and back as he tried his best to pull guard. The former NCAA champion even tried for a D’arce choke on Maia, but couldn’t quite finish the hold.
Munoz’s continued aggression and power shots did the job he was hoping for, and he picked up a unanimous decision win, his third in a row.
“I told him it was a true honor to fight him in the cage. I got caught on the ground and thank you to jiu-jitsu,” Munoz commented paying tribute to his coaches and training partners who helped him prepare for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace.
With the victory, Munoz may soon find himself facing an American hero in Brian Stann as the two middleweights appear on equal footing when it comes to the 185lb title picture.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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