UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz plans to use his wrestling knowledge to defeat Chris Leben at UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz on November 5.
The fight will be a five-round affair from the LG Arena in Birmingham, England. The main card will air on Spike TV that night.
This fight presents a great chance for Munoz (11-2) to elevate his name closer to the top of the heap in terms of finding out the next contender to Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.
First, though, the former Oklahoma State University wrestling standout needs to be on the lookout for Leben (22-7) and his knockout-ability.
“I definitely don’t want to stand in front of him. He gets stronger as you punch him in the face,” said Munoz, during an interview with 5thRound.com recently. “You definitely want to mix it up. You don’t want to stand in front too long – you want to be able to get angles. That’s basically it. He’s a tough, tough dude. He’s going to come straight forward and you know that there is going to be bombs flying at you.”
Leben owns 12 career knockout victories, so Munoz has plans to execute precise takedowns and work “The Crippler” on the mat to avoid those heavy hands.
“For me, it’s no secret. I’m going to use my wrestling. I always say that,” Munoz said. “But, I throw bombs, too. So that’s why, stylistically, this is a great fight because he doesn’t step backward. I don’t step backward. You’re going to see fireworks for sure.”
Leben has won four of his last five fights, with the lone loss coming by TKO to Brian Stann. Munoz has been equally as hot, winning six of his last seven, with the lone loss coming to Yushin Okami by split decision.