In the main event at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (19-4 MMA; 11-4 UFC) makes his Middleweight debut. He takes on the tough Mark Munoz (13-3 MMA; 8-3 UFC). The official UFC rankings have Munoz as the #5 contender at Middleweight; Machida is not yet ranked in the new division, but is still at #6 at Light Heavyweight. UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz airs live from Manchester, England this Saturday, October 26. The show is on Fox Sports 2 (not Fox Sports 1), with a special afternoon fight time of 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT.
The big story here is Machida's first foray into the 185 pound ranks. For a debut in the weight class, he's certainly drawn a tough assignment, as Munoz is one of the division's best. We know how Machida will approach this fight - use his karate to counter and outstrike Munoz. The question is how the heavy handed wrestler Munoz will approach it. A headhunting KO performance likely plays into Machida's hands. But if he can implement his wrestling game, he may have more success.
How do these two stack up?
Machida: 35 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
Munoz: 35 years old | 6'0" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion whose elusive karate style has given opponents fits for years. But lately, it seems like more and more people are figuring out that style. Losses to the likes of Jon Jones are understandable, but his last fight - a loss to Phil Davis - definitely raised some eyebrows. That's the lowest ranked opponent who has ever defeated Machida. Did it signify the end of the Machida Era? The Dragon hopes a drop down to 185 will help revitalize things, but he needs a win here badly.
Mark Munoz is an accomplished wrestler who has often relied more on his power than his wrestling technique in MMA. Since his switch to Middleweight in 2009 he has been great, with his only two losses coming against #1 contenders/future champions in Yushin Okami and Chris Weidman. He's only fought once since that Weidman loss over a year ago, but he looked good in his return fight defeat of Tim Boetsch. With Weidman's win over Anderson Silva, that loss doesn't look too bad at all. Munoz is often underrated still, but he could easily be a title contender soon.
Why should you care?
This is a fascinating match-up that has serious title implications. I'm pretty excited for this one.
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- UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs. Munoz staff picks and predictions
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- MMA Tete-A-Tete: previews/picks for Ultimate Fight Night - Machida vs. Munoz, Bellator 105, WSOF 6