UFC 138: 'Leben vs. Munoz' has now come and go and we have a winner in Mark Munoz and a loser in Chris Leben. In what was the promotions first 'non-title, five round main event' we saw that pros and cons of each fighter and a good slugfest.
As we all know, the kingpin at 185 pounds is reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Silva holds stoppages over top contenders Yushin Okami, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen in his last three fights. Apparently, Silva is resting a nagging shoulder issue which will make his return to the Ocatgon a little delayed.
I'd like to bring the case of Chael Sonnen versus Mark Munoz for the UFC number one contender at middleweight before the honorable Judge (UFC match maker) Joe Silva before a jury of Maniacs'
This case will now begin!
The UFC middleweight division has gotten a notion it is 'weak and thin' to which i don't agree. The top five is hard to crack and the top 10 is now easy place to wiggle. A single loss can bump you far out of contention as others move ahead on the same card.
Behind Anderson Silva it appears two men have emerged with very good arguments to be 'number one contender'. Look we have had conflicting reports of Silva wanting to fight four more fights or fighting six to seven years and i wnat to see Silva face a variety of opponents at 185 if he isn't going up in weight as it would appear.
Chael Sonnen had one of the most turbulent years as he went from being choked by Silva at UFC 117 after a valiant effort, being busted for roids', being busted for real estate fraud and losing his license to compete in Nevada and California.
At UFC 136 he made a triumphant return when he ended up choking Briant Stann by way of arm-triangle and doing what he does best, talk shit. He called out champion Anderson Silva infront of the Houston crowd who seemed to want Sonnen get his crack at it again. Sonnen like Silva has his own mantle of top contenders as he holds wins over Brain Stann, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt.
He took the champion for 4 1/2 rounds on his terms but like he has so many times before, he was triangled to tap. Now being close doesn't matter in afight but when you look at Anderson Silva's reign being close actually matters a lot. Silva has destroyed people as seen from his front kicking of Vitor Beflort at UFC 126.
Sonnen took a year off and mopped the floor with Brian Stann as if he hadn't missed a beat. Now Brian Stann may be a heavy handed technical version of Chris Leben but being able to lay around and come do that says something of what level you are on.
At UFC 138 middleweight Mark Munoz beat up and cut up Chris Leben in the first 'five round-non title fight'in Birmingham, England. Munoz is a force and not someone who deserves to be talked about contender now after his disposal of 'The Crippler' this past Saturday.
Munoz is 7-1 in his his past eight bouts at middleweight and holds notable wins over Chris Leben, Damian Maia, Aaron Simpson and Kendall Grove. His lone loss was a split decision loss to former number one contender Yushin Okami.
Ask yourself, what was the one time Okami looked awful? was UFC 134 your answer?.
When comparing fighters i enjoy looking common opponents to see how the hold up. Munoz and Sonnen both have faced Damain Maia and Yushin Okami. The both rest at 1-1 against each common opponent and hold wins over either one.
Sonnen beat up Okami at UFC 104 to earn a unanimous decision and at UFC 95 he was submitted by Damian Maia. Munoz holds a win over Damian Maia by way of unanimous deciision and holds a split decision loss to Yushin Okami.
The one stat that shows is that Munoz wasn't stopped in his one loss and outpointed Maia in his win. Munoz was a mere judge's opinion away from winning the Okami fight. I would also argue that when Munoz beat Maia he beat the better overal version of Maia.
I have no issue with Chael Sonnen being the anointed number one contender but i also strongly feel Munoz has done enough for a number one contenders fight. Sonnen did take Silva for four and a half rounds of domination but was in fact stopped by the one submission he has been stopped with a lot more then one should.
I also like when the number one contender is clear cut and with Silva resting an injury it would make sense for this to happen because it would be a 'put up or shut up' match. If Chael wins then Silva's manager Ed Soares could not manage to avoid the brash American wrestler. If Munoz wins then we get to see a world class wrestler with great ground and pound who has trained with Team Black House and Silva himself.
UFC 142 is set to have a welterweight championship tilt between champion Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz square off in the main event. It has been rumored Carlos Condit and Jake Ellenberg may settle the next number one contender on the same card. Why not settle the next UFC middleweight contender on the same card?. Let's get 2012 set nice and early as we await to see what becomes of Michael Bisping, Jason Miller, Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson.
What do you think Maniacs' ?