Mousasi Chokes Out Munoz
Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi submitted Mark Munoz in the middleweight main event of UFC Fight Night 41 in Berlin, Germany. The former Dream and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion finished off Munoz at the 3:57 mark of the opening round via a rare-naked choke.
Fast Start, Quick End
Munoz appeared to be ready for a fast and aggressive start as the opening bell sounded. He picked up Mousasi for a slam but Mousasi made a mid-air adjustment to land on top of the Filipino “wrecking machine.” Mousasi punished Munoz with vicious elbows, punches and choke attempts as he secured side mount. But Munoz wouldn’t go without a fight and he was able to get back to his feet. When Munoz attempted another takedown, Mousasi reversed it again and mounted Munoz for a second time. Mousasi then took Mark’s back again and secured a rear-naked choke that forced Munoz to tap out.
Mousasi later said that the game plan was to go for the rear naked choke or guillotine since Munoz would always come forward as a wrestler. He said he tried to utilize the angles and put the pressure on Munoz. Everything went well for the Armenian Assassin as he executed his game plan to perfection.
Mousasi improved his record to 35-4-2 with 18Kos and 12 submissions. Munoz succumbed to his third loss in his last four bouts while his record fell to 13-5 with 6 KO’s and 1 submission. Munoz’s loss put him farther from the rankings and virtually erased his title hopes in the loaded middleweight division.
On the opposite corner, the win put Mousasi back on the winning track after losing his last UFC bout to Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida last February during his middleweight debut. Although that bout won Fight of the Night Honors, Machida easily outpointed Mousasi to win by unanimous decision. Machida was later promoted to fight middleweight champion Chris Weidman in UFC 175 after Weidman’s original opponent, VItor Belfort, dropped out of the title match due to license problems. Had Moussasi won that match, he could’ve been the one opposite Weidman this July 5.
But with the impressive win over the #7 ranked middleweight Munoz, Moussasi has put himself in the title mix of the 185 lbs weight class. After the bout, Moussasi refused to call out anyone. But he said that the win over Munoz should earn him a fight with Luke Rockhold or Tim Kennedy and move him closer to a title shot.
When the UFC broke out the news that the Belfort vs Sonnen match would be for the #1 contender slot, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was flabbergasted. Rockhold has been asking for a title shot after two stoppage victories over quality foes Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch. Rockhold is 2-1 in the UFC, where his loss came at the feet of Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut.
But it seems that lady luck continues to shine on Chael Sonnen, as he gets to fight for another shot at a UFC belt when he faces Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 175. Rockhold was literally speechless when he heard the news about the Sonnen fight being a title contender match up.
Mousasi vs Rockhold?
Rockhold is ranked #5 in the middleweight division. If he can secure a fight with Mousasi and win it, he may no longer have to call out Vitor for a rematch. He could go straight to a shot at the title early next year.
But Mousasi is no pushover. He too, wants a piece of that middleweight gold. The 28 year old Dutchman is slowly showing his true worth in the UFC. He is an elite striker with a good kickboxing background. And coming from the light-heavyweight division like Machida, he is a heavy handed striker in the 185 lbs weight class.
A potential Rockhold vs Mousasi bout would be interesting and worth watching. What about it Dana White?
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