Pedro Munhoz has been around the fight game for many years, but the perennial bantamweight contender is entering the biggest bout of his career later tonight (Sat., Aug. 22, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 15 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, as “Young Punisher” welcomes former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to the 135-pound division.
Munhoz, 33, has produced a 7-2 record inside of the Octagon since the beginning of 2016. His most high-profile win came in the form of a knockout over former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt back at UFC 235. That finish helped introduce Munhoz to the masses as most casual fight fans were unfamiliar with his work inside of the cage. It’s also a big reason why Munhoz was able to land this main event affair with “The Answer.”
With another big name in front of him this weekend at UFC on ESPN 15, “Young Punisher” is hoping to score another big finish and make a push towards his first UFC title shot. Despite the likes of Aljamain Sterling waiting in line for a chance at current UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, Munhoz believes a dominant win over Edgar allows him to the skip the line of contenders.
“I believe that with an impressive victory over Frankie Edgar, because of his name, I already see an open path to the belt,” Munhoz told MMA Fighting. “And the UFC knows the type of fighter I am. I don’t coast. Many athletes play strategies, being aggressive is my strategy. That’s the fighting style I like and that’s what fans and the UFC like, so I believe that would give me a great jump towards a title shot.”
Munhoz is certainly going to lobby for the next shot at Yan if he’s able to take Edgar out this weekend in “Sin City,” but the Brazilian veteran still doesn’t understand how the promotion has failed to book Sterling for the next crack at bantamweight gold. After all, “Funk Master” has won his last five trips to the Octagon, including wins over Cory Sandhagen, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann, Brett Johns, and Munhoz himself.
“I’ve always asked myself that question, ‘Why not?’, he won his last five against renowned guys, and that surprised me at first,” Munhoz said. “I don’t know why that happened.”
Regardless of whatever is holding up a Yan vs. Sterling matchup, Munhoz is still going to try to defeat Edgar at UFC on ESPN 15 and get back into the bantamweight win column. Once that happens the 33-year-old contender can focus on landing his own title shot and testing his wrestling and power punching against the new champ.
“(Yan) is on a rise, he’s a durable and skilled young kid,” Munhoz said. “He’s a great name for the division, the new Era. I think he’s great. Our fight would be fire. We have similar styles, we’re both knockout artists, my ground game and his stand-up are very aggressive, we both work on short-to-mid range distance with counters. It would be an exciting fight. I think that’s another reason why a good win over Frankie gives me an open path to the (title) shot because they know it would be a pretty exciting fight.”
What say you, Maniacs? Can Munhoz skip the line for a title shot with a win over Edgar tonight at UFC on ESPN 15?
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