The main event of UFC 138: "Leben vs. Munoz," which went down today (Sat., Nov. 5, 2011) at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England, featured the iron-chinned Chris Leben taking on wrestling champion Mark Munoz.
No, it wasn't a number one contender bout but the winner could most certainly make a case for a place among the top tier in the middleweight division. Maybe not a title shot but something very close to it.
This was also the first five round main event non-title fight. Would these two really 25-minutes to settle things, though?
They sure didn't but the end to this one was as anticlimactic as it gets. That's because Munoz opened a cut above Leben's eye and it eventually got to the point that he couldn't see. Because of that, the bout was called off after the second round and Munoz was awarded the technical knockout win.
Unsurprisingly, Munoz shot in for a takedown off the first punch Leben threw. He was successful, too, but his red-headed opponent is no slouch on the mat. He wall-walked and got right back to his feet.
Munoz landed a few right hands off the break but it was Leben's turn to surprise with a takedown of his own. And that's when he turned the pressure on, unloading a bevy of punches that found their mark and startled "The Filipino Wrecking Machine."
Leben threatened briefly with a guillotine but it only resulted in Munoz on top and landing big shots. Naturally, "The Crippler" survived and finished the round landing plenty of big punches of his own.
Fatigue quickly reared its ugly head for Leben, who was breathing heavy coming into the second round. Munoz used that to his advantage, gaining more takedowns and landing more ground and pound. His elbows opened a cut, too, which only served to siphon more of Leben's energy.
Suddenly, Leben got on top and locked in a choke. It wasn't enough, though.
The doctors wanted to look at the cut and Leben originally claimed he couldn't see. Once they threatened to stop the bout, suddenly his vision cleared and they restarted the contest.
Leben quickly went on the offensive after the restart, looking for another guillotine but once again, nothing was there. He made it to the horn but once he got to his corner, he informed everyone he could not see and that was the end of it.
It was a hell of a fight while it lasted. Mark Munoz a title contender? Anyone?