Mark Munoz 'Finding Groove' Before Chris Weidman Finished Him And Open To Hector Lombard Fight

July 11, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Mark Munoz (left) fights Chris Weidman (right) during the middleweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Munoz looked to be on the verge of contendership before running into fast rising Middleweight Chris Weidman at UFC On Fuel 4. Munoz had strung together four consecutive victories since losing a split decision to Yushin Okami in 2010. His two biggest wins during that time were former contender Demian Maia and TUF 1 veteran Chris Leben. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" got matched with Weidman after pulling out of a scheduled bout with Chael Sonnen at UFC On Fox 2. Unfortunately for Munoz, Weidman has looked like an unstoppable force at Middleweight and dominated the Pacific Islander for 6 minutes before finishing himin brutal fashion.

BJPenn.com caught up with Mark Munoz at the grand opening of B.J. Penns branch of the UFC Gym. Munoz talked about his fight against Chris Weidman and who he'd like to face next:

That fight that I just fought, I kind of took it too early. I was fighting a number of injuries. I don't want to make any excuses, but he caught me with an elbow as I was just finding my groove.

You know Hector Lombard has been talking a lot about me. So I don't mind fighting him. I know he's upset about what I said about him. I didn't want to disrespect him at all. That's just how I felt before I was asked those questions. I didn't want to disrespect him. He's a very good fighter, but if he wants to go, we can go.

Munoz claims he was "finding his groove" just before the finish, but that's very hard to believe in a fight where his sole offense was a single insignificant strike. Weidman showed no weaknesses at UFC On Fuel 4 in a performance that catapulted him into the title discussion.

In the lead up to that fight, Munoz managed to upset former Bellator champion Hector Lombard when he accused him of "recycling cans" prior to his UFC debut. Lombard was none too pleased with the comments and started focusing on a fight with Munoz even before his lackluster bout with 185 lb. underdog Tim Boestch. With both fighters now coming off a loss, the stars have aligned and this grudge match makes perfect sense. Additionally, the UFC loves to pair fighters who seem to have legitimate conflict with each other. Don't be surprised if this fight is announced for an upcoming UFC event.

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