Mark Munoz (L) pictured taking on Demian Maia (R) at UFC 131 in Vancouver, British Columbia, on June 11, 2011. Photo by Esther Lin via MMAfighting.com.
After Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva silenced Chael Sonnen, once and for all, at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend (Sat., July 7, 2012), the question immediately became:
"Who will 'The Spider' fight next?"
It's possible that Silva will take on Hector Lombard should he be victorious in his UFC debut against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 on July 21, 2012. However, if "Shango" doesn't come out on top -- or turns in an underwhelming performance -- most mixed martial arts (MMA) pundits believe that the number one contender will be the winner of Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman, which will take place at UFC on FUEL TV 4 this coming Wednesday night (July 11, 2012).
Especially, if it's Munoz who gets his arm raised inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The Middleweight match up pairs two top level wrestlers and fighters who are riding a big hype wave coming into this fight. Munoz comes into the contest on a four-fight win streak, while Weidman will enter the bout with a perfect (8-0) professional record.
Munoz has been on the shelf since Nov. 5, 2011, because of right elbow surgery. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" sat down with "Inside MMA" to discuss his recovery progress, as well as his thoughts on his upcoming fight with "The All American."
Check out the details after the jump:
"The doctor told me, he assured me, that I'd be back within six months. I'm back and, I've been consistent with my rehab and training. Now I feel great, and I got a straight arm, now, as you can see. Before, I was just barely throwing hooks. Now, I feel great."
The now healthy Munoz is excited about Wednesday night's fight, but the thing he looks forward to the most is his being able to use his favorite technique: "The Donkey Kong Punch:"
"I see this fight being everywhere. I see this fight being on the ground, and if he takes me down, I'll pop him back up. But I'm gonna look to take him down, too. I'm gonna try and ground-and-pound, and use my 'Donkey Kong punches' to my advantage, like I always do. I'm prepared for it to be on the feet too, and we all know that when two wrestlers fight, we neutralize each other, and it happens on the feet, mostly, so I've been working on my stand-up a lot for this fight. I expect it to be a stand-up war, but at the same time, I expect it to be everywhere; in the cage, on the ground, wherever -- on the feet, I'm prepared."
Both fighters have similar strengths and weaknesses. They both come from a wrestling background, and have achieved at a very high level.
Even so, Munoz was quick to point out that there is a key difference:
"Usually, when I fight, it doesn't go the distance, but sometimes it does, and usually, I end up coming out on top with decisions. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to this fight. He's a finisher, I'm a finisher, too. It's gonna be a battle of wills in there. We do come from similar backgrounds. He's a wrestler, and I'm a wrestler, too. He wrestled for Hofstra. I wrestled for Oklahoma State. He was an All-American, and I was a National Champion, so that's a difference there. When it comes to MMA wrestling, his is pretty good. Mine, as well, too. So, we're gonna be battling it out, for sure."
For more information on UFC on FUEL TV 4, check out the entire archive here. Also, be sure and check in Wednesday night for LIVE, blow-by-blow coverage and results for UFC on FUEL TV 4: "Munoz vs. Weidman" right here.
It'll be on like Donkey Kong.