The UFC sure picked the right fight to start their “UFC 112: Invincible” pay-per-view broadcast on Saturday after Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove and Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz put on a spectacular show.
Fans got everything they expected, as Grove used his reach to time and drop Munoz in the first round with a vicious uppercut after the former Oklahoma State Cowboy shot for a takedown.
Although he was thoroughly rocked, Munoz was able to keep his whits about him, even when Grove appeared to have the Filipino submitted on two separate occasions.
Thankfully for the Reign fighter, he found a way to survive the final three-plus minutes of the opening stanza.
“You got to have will to survive in the cage, and that’s what I have. I want to make it to the top and that’s what you need in order to be a champ,” an ecstatic Munoz said after the biggest win of his career.
Munoz appeared to recover from the initial beating he received, as he immediately shot for another takedown to start the second round. Unfortunately, he was greeted with a knee to the face for his troubles.
The 32-year-old was able to recover and ultimately brought Grove to the canvas. From there, Munoz showed why everyone raves about his vicious ground ‘n pound, by dropping Mauricio “Shogun” Rua-like bombs from the top position.
“That’s one of my strong points. I just love it when I’m on top. I just know I got heavy hands on top and I’m a wrestler and that’s where I’m at. I’m on top a lot,” Munoz continued.
It was Munoz’s heart and huge punches that forced Grove to wilt during a humid night in Abu Dhabi. It looks like all the work at Reign Training Center paid off for the middleweight up-and-comer.