Who will be victorious in the UFC 138 main event?
“The Face-Off” series is back for UFC 138 this weekend, but we have a new face in the game. HeavyMMA features writer Duane Finley welcomes staff writer Nate Lawson to the battlefield in this edition, looking to spoil his debut.
This week, the series features a look at the main event between middleweights Chris Leben and Mark Munoz.
The Case for Mark Munoz (by Duane Finley)
For starters, I’d like to welcome feature writer Nate “Fat Stacks” Lawson into the Thunderdome. The next order of business is to quickly let him know he has now officially entered a world of pain.
With all of that being said, it’s time for me to make the case for Mark Munoz. My formula involves three key points.
Motivation, determination and wrestling.
“The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is at the top of the ladder in all three specific categories when compared to the rest of the MMA world. A former NCAA Division 1 champion, Munoz’s wrestling has been dominant enough to allow time for the other aspects of his game to develop. His striking is coming along nicely, and he has displayed “put down” power in both hands. He won’t have the power advantage over Leben, but he does have the ability to test his chin.
When it comes to determination, Munoz is once again another level. Not only is he the co-owner of the Reign Training Facility in Orange County, but Munoz is the spiritual leader and motivator of a group that includes Krzysztof Soszynski, Jake Ellenberger and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. These fighters rally around one another and push each other to become better in the cage. Munoz has adopted Soszynski’s conditioning program, which has done wonders for his cardio.
The final aspect is motivation. Since coming over from the WEC, Munoz has climbed the middleweight ladder at a steady pace. Following wins over C.B. Dollaway and Demian Maia, he is now poised to break through into title contention. He wants to be a UFC champion, and that’s going to drive him forward in this fight.
Munoz by unanimous decision. That’s how I see it and that’s how it will go.