If Mark Munoz Wins at UFC on Fuel TV 4, ‘He Has to Be the No. 1 Contender’

June 14, 2012
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There’s been a lot of talk lately about who is the fighter that will get the next crack at the UFC middleweight title after UFC 148 is wrapped.

Nine-time defending UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva faces Chael Sonnen in possibly the biggest rematch in the promotion’s history, but who gets the winner is still up for debate.

Michael Bisping has made his case should Chael Sonnen win after their fight was closely contested back in January. Tim Boetsch believes a win at UFC 149 should put him in the crosshairs of a title shot.

And let’s not forget former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard who was calling out Anderson Silva on the day he signed with the UFC.

The name that hasn’t been talked about quite as much is the man who will fight in the main event at UFC on Fuel 4, and likely has the strongest case of all the contenders to make a run at the belt.

Mark Munoz will enter his bout on July 11 against Chris Weidman on a four-fight win streak, and victorious in seven out of his last eight bouts.

Add to that the fact that Munoz was the fighter originally scheduled to face Sonnen in a No. 1 contender’s bout back in January before an elbow injury forced him off the card and into the surgical room. But now that he’s healthy and ready to return to action, Munoz’s manager is making the case that there’s only one name that should be uttered when speaking about No. 1 contenders at 185 pounds.

That name is Mark Munoz.

“If and when Mark wins this fight, he has to be the No. 1 contender,” said Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.

UFC officials haven’t told Munoz or his manager that he is guaranteed a shot at the belt should he win, but there are a lot of signs that seem to point in that direction.

Beyond the fact that he was already scheduled in a previous No. 1 contender’s fight, Munoz faces Weidman just a few days after the rivalry between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will hopefully come to a close.

“It makes the most sense and they’re fighting four days apart,” Roberts stated. “I think that speaks volumes.”

Munoz also faces an undefeated phenom in Chris Weidman, who has looked virtually unstoppable so far in his young UFC career. If Munoz can get past Weidman and make it five wins in a row, that would appear to be the perfect scenario for him to face the winner of Silva vs. Sonnen II.

Now it’s just up to the UFC to decide who will actually get the next crack at the belt.

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  • Triggerman99

    I’m just gonna ahead and say it, even though I’m sure to get a lot of sh!t for doing so;
    If Anderson Silva beats Chael Sonnen again, he should retire. If he doesn’t retire, he should fight either GSP or Jon Jones, and then retire.

    I can’t really see a good reason for him to continue to defend the MW title.
    For the sake of his legacy, it would be best for him to call it a career before he gets too old and inevitably gets beat by a younger, stronger fighter.
    And as far as the future of the MW division, it would be much more interesting to watch guys like Bisping, Munoz, and Weidman battle for the title than to watch Silva crush another contender (again, this is all assuming he beats Sonnen).

    • Well then… I’m just gonna have to go ahead and…

      agree with you.

      Except the fight should have happened in Brazil so Silva could have retired on home turf.

      • dez

        I think that is how it will play out, Silva crushes Sonnen then retires or decides to only take superfights. I would in that case hope to see a MW tournament. I would put my money on Vitor picking up the belt in that scenario.

    • I can think of a few rea$on$ for him to hand around.

      • markrenton

        I cant see GSP ever taking a fight with Anderson. It would be a huge money maker and fans would go nuts, but GSP is way too scared of losing to take that fight. Regardless of the cash and the fan reaction, its hard to see him fighting Jones either. That being said, with the exception of the first Chael fight he has looked pretty bored fighting at 185 for years now. I think most are expecting him to destroy Sonnen in this upcoming fight. If he does, I say hang up the gloves. His estimated net worth was recently marked at $8 million so he should be good.

  • BigDawg

    He is a great fighter and on a good streak but every time I watch him fight I can’t forget that Matt Hamill kick that KO’d him.

  • maddawgmar

    Again I’d like to see him beat a top five fighter before getting a shot, beating mid tier fighters then Wiedman (who barely made top ten) is not title worthy. Bisping hasn’t beat a top ten fighter in his career, Boetch’s only top ten win is against Okami, and he was getting slaughtered before catching him. I think a fighter should have a couple of top ten wins before a title shot, preferrably a top five as one of them. And Lombard, haven’t lost since ’06, big deal, who has he beat? No one, his biggest name victory is Joe Doerksen. Anyone can go 31-2 against low level fighters. Fight your way up like everyone else, your no Lesnar, no freebie title shot.

  • Lesnardo

    Couldn’t care less about the MW division. You have a champ who is too afraid to go up to LHW. Then you have guys who got pushed out of the LHW division dominating. Example, Chael, Bisping, Vitor, Franklin.