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Monday Morning Hangover: Mark Munoz suffers third straight first-round defeat

What's going on with Mark?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC 184 blew the roof off The Staples Center last Saturday (Feb. 28, 2015) in Los Angeles, California.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Cat Zingano, who was submitted by Ronda Rousey in a record-setting 16 seconds (watch it). And Josh Koscheck, who was just about put to sleep by Jake Ellenberger's air-tight north-south choke in his long-awaited return (video highlights here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, just 48 hours removed from the show?

Mark Munoz.

"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" looked to right his ship and get his first win inside the Octagon in over two years after dropping his previous two. Standing in his way was Roan Carneiro, who was stepping foot inside the eight-walled cage for the first time since getting the boot nearly seven years ago.

And it turned out to be pretty sweet homecoming for "Jucao," as he scored a very impressive first-round submission victory over Munoz; forcing the middleweight bruiser to go to sleep after refusing to tap (recap). The win marked Roan's seventh in a row, the defeat for Munoz...his third straight.

To add salt to an open wound, all three have come via first-round finish.

The streak is a brutal one for Munoz, who at one time was considered a legit contender in the 185-pound division and was often met with the question if whether or not he would ever face his friend and then champion, Anderson Silva for the division title.

Now, the only question asked is, "What's going on with Mark?"

After losing to Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi, most gave the wrestling powerhouse a pass since losing to those two men is nothing to be ashamed of. But after getting stopped in less than two minutes by a man who normally competes at welterweight, that pass has likely been revoked.

And it's not a knock on Carneiro, he's won seven in a row for a reason. The loss leaves many unanswered questions for Munoz. But, perhaps we all may know some of the answers.

Prior to his bout against Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 41, Munoz admitted that his busy lifestyle was quite a task to juggle. Aside from being a professional fighter at the highest level, he is also a father to four children, husband and a business owner.

Whether or not his full plate played a role in his preparation and ultimately, his performance in the fight, Munoz now finds himself on the chopping block, as three straight defeats usually means getting the pink slip. Especially for a fighter that simply doesn't look the same world beater that won seven of his first nine bouts inside the Octagon.

It's a downfall that seemingly happened overnight.

Naturally, a fighter like Munoz who carries with him a big heart won't want to hang them up. So, if and when he does return, amd if UFC will continue to employ him, maybe a fight against a Luke Barnatt, who is on hos own two-fight skid, is in order.

Because as much as tried to avoid the label, Mark is dangerously close to becoming the division "gatekeeper."

Or is too late?

For complete results from UFC 184: "Rousey vs. Zingano" click here.

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