Mark Munoz and Brian Stann are both considering rising stars in the UFC’s middleweight division, but are they destined to meet next with a title shot on the line?
Mark Munoz took another step forward in his goal to get to the top of the middleweight division with his win over Demian Maia at UFC 131.
The victory marked his third victory in a row, and a big step forward by beating a Top 10 middleweight. Munoz also feels it established him among the best in the division.
“I proved a point that I am in that top echelon,” Munoz said after the fight. “Demian Maia’s a force to be reckoned with at the 185-pound weight class, so I think I’m up there somewhere.”
With the 185-pound division currently awaiting the title fight in August between Anderson Silva and top contender Yushin Okami, the weight class is looking for the next great contender, and two names pop to mind.
Along with Munoz, former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann is currently riding a three-fight win streak of his own. Stann most recently stopped former Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago at UFC 130, giving the former Marine his first major win over a top ten opponent as well.
On Saturday night, Stann tweeted that he was watching the Munoz vs. Maia fight with a bit of interest.
“You know I’m watching this fight closely,” Stann wrote. “Picking Munoz.”
Stann obviously chose wisely and Munoz did indeed end up the winner.
With both fighters cruising towards the top of the division, is a match-up between Brian Stann and Mark Munoz inevitable?
“After coming off a big win over Damien Maia, Mark would welcome any fight that brings him closer to a title shot,” Munoz’s manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. told MMAWeekly.com.
“If that fighter is Brian Stann then so be it. If that’s the fight the fans want to see, Mark would welcome that challenge. Brian Stann is a great guy, so it would be Good Guy vs. Good Guy. That can be compelling in itself.”
Munoz and Stann are generally regarded not only as two of the most talented middleweights in the world, but also two of the most respectful and well respected fighters in the entire sport.
With other contenders either on the shelf or out of the division opting for new weight divisions, Mark Munoz and Brian Stann could very well be on a collision course to determine the next contender in the UFC’s middleweight division.