Don't write him off just yet.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Mark Munoz was smashed by fellow rising star Chris Weidman at the UFC on FUEL TV 4 event earlier this year in San Jose. But before we drag his career behind the barn and shoot it in the head, let's put things in perspective.
"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is 7-3 inside the Octagon.
In fact, his loss to the "All American" snapped a string of four consecutive wins and marked just his second defeat at 185 pounds. The first? A razor-thin split decision to former number one contender Yushin Okami back in August 2010.
Munoz breaks it down for the incomparable Heidi Fang at MMA Fight Corner:
"Despite what anybody might think or say, I see myself as a number one contender. I see myself becoming a world champ. It's not going to change my destination. I might have a little detour, but it's not going to change my destination for sure. I'd like to have a rematch with Weidman, I'd like to fight Bisping. There's a lot of guys out there. The fact of the matter is, I want a fight that'd get me back on track to becoming a world champ. I definitely want to redeem myself on my last performance and show people that I'm a man that learns from his mistakes. And for me, champions aren't measured by how many wins they have, but how they pick themselves after a loss. That's the true meaning of a champion and that's what I want to show."
Munoz (12-3) is expected to be out of action until at least February as he mends a broken foot. In addition, previous work done to his elbow was causing him problems as recently as the Weidman fight, so the time off will likely go a long way in rectifying that issue, as well.
What's the downside?
The former light heavyweight will be 35 by the time he steps back inside the Octagon and a fight against Weidman or Bisping is unlikely at this time, as both competitors are currently on winning streaks. Unless Tim Boetsch pulls off a massive upset against the "All American" at UFC 155 later this year.
How do you see the middleweight division unfolding over the next six months?