UFC Weekend Preview: Five burning questions for 'Munoz vs. Mousasi' and 'Miocic vs. Maldonado'

Boris Streubel

Before every fight card, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans toggle between possible scenarios and what to expect days before it all unfolds in front of their eyes. Probable outcomes, distinguishable facts and head-scratching theories are all part of the mystique that surrounds the fights on any given night. We ask ourselves the same questions … and try to uncover different answers.

We've got a two-for-one special on deck this weekend in both Germany and Brazil.

UFC Fight Night 41: "Munoz vs. Mousasi" takes place this Saturday (May 31, 2014) from O2 World in Berlin, Germany, and in the main event, Mark Munoz dukes it out against Gegard Mousasi, as both fighters will be looking to get back into the win column. The event will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.

In the co-main event, C.B. Dollaway will be looking to continue his winning streak against Francis Carmont.

On the same day, UFC's The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" Finale takes place at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shown live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).

After Junior dos Santos pulled out of the main event with an injury, Stipe Miocic will now be fighting Fabio Maldonado, who moves up to heavyweight for this contest.

With several interesting storylines emerging from both cards, check out our "Five Burning Questions" heading into these fights in Germany and Brazil:

5. Is it a good idea to schedule two UFC cards for one day?

The simple answer would be "no," despite the promotion's efforts to give us as much action as possible.

Instead of taking the easy route and saying don't watch, these cards were matched up on the same day because they're not exactly the most exciting fight cards ever. This isn't to say they wouldn't do well on their own, yet if you look at the line up for both, not everybody is willing to be sacrificing approximately 12 hours of their day. The story could have been different had these events in Germany and Brazil had a little more star power.

Not even your parents would watch the Grammys and the Emmys on the same day, and this isn't quite the same as a stacked Sunday of NFL action, either. Why should we feel like it's mandatory to watch the Germany card on Fight Pass, then switch to FS1?

4. What could C.B. Dollaway gain with a victory over Francis Carmont?

The jury wasn't out on Dollaway before he crushed Cezar Ferreira, but he certainly wasn't going to do anything out of the ordinary. In other words, a miracle could only grant him a title shot, and had he lost two or three straight, he could have found himself on the brink of unemployment.

After earning the quickest finish of his UFC career at UFC Fight Night 38 back in March, "The Doberman" improved to 8-4 in the organization since losing TUF 7, becoming somewhat of a threat to aspiring middleweight contenders.

Carmont has only lost one bout thus far under the Zuffa banner, presumably looking to make amends in this fight as he risks a second straight defeat. Say what you will about Carmont's excruciatingly painful-to-watch style, but he's still a risky fight for anyone.

"The Doberman" won't exactly convince the masses he's a top five middleweight if he wins, but he would force observers to keep a close watch on him while he petitions for an opponent at the top of the heap.

3. Did Fabio Maldonado bite off more than he can chew?

UFC loves warriors like Maldonado. Not only does he fight like a guy who's living his last day on Earth, he also took this fight on short notice and moved up a weight class.

There's a chance he could win, even if the cards are stacked against him. He does need to make it a brawl, though, since Miocic's crisp boxing combinations may be too much to handle.

Nonetheless, it's risky for the Brazilian to fight a heavyweight who is a few classes above him when it comes to talent, especially since he's on the biggest win streak of his UFC career. This shouldn't affect his standing within the promotion, since losing this fight in the most brutal of fashions won't cost him a dime.

Unlike his opponent, Maldonado doesn't really have anything to lose in this fight. He's just expected to lose ... that's all.

2. Does Stipe Miocic have a lot to lose in this fight?

It's a crushing blow for Miocic that dos Santos was unable to compete against him, but at least he wasn't pulled from the card. He wasn't exactly thrilled when "Caipira de Aco" stepped in, saying "it is what it is."

This could be a lose-lose situation for the Ohio native. A win over Maldonado is nowhere near the same as a win over "Cigano," and if he loses to a light heavyweight, it ruins his chances at accomplishing a title contention run.

Even if Miocic pulls through with a victory by the skin of his teeth, naysayers will voice their disapproval and they could have a point, depending on how much damage he takes.

It's not exactly a blockbuster main event, yet it should be a good fight. That said, it's one the 31-year-old combatant can't afford to squander.

1. What will happen when Munoz squares off against Mousasi?

This clash is an intriguing one, and it's pretty difficult to predict who's taking it.

Mousasi is favored, yet Munoz's wrestling could come into play and make "The Dreamcatcher's" night a difficult one. We've seen Mousasi struggle with wrestlers in the past, despite being a well-rounded mixed martial artist.

"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is good everywhere, too, but his chin is a little questionable. In his last four losses, he was knocked out three times, quite brutally.

Let's hope this main event is a solid offering. There are an abundance of fights to watch this weekend, and since this one comes around supper time for North Americans, both Mousasi and Munoz could cap off a surprising afternoon.

On the flip side, there is a chance this fight could be boring if both fighters are too hesitant. They both need to get back into the win column, so it's not like they're going to go out on their shields and look for a knockout while risking a knockout loss themselves.

We'll see what happens.

For the finalized UFC Fight Night 41 card click here. Be sure to keep it locked on MMAmania.com for TUF Brazil Finale 3 updates.

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