UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is currently riding the sidelines rehabbing a shoulder injury, with his projected date of return being sometime in early summer. While his injury won’t keep him out long enough for an interim middleweight champion to be crowned, the middleweight division will move on without The Spider’s presence.
On the same card that Demian Maia and Michael Bisping will be squaring off to establish their standings in the 185lbs. weight class, UFC on Fox 2, Mark Muñoz and Chael Sonnen will do battle to determine the very next contender to Silva’s belt. Powerhouse wrestlers who made their bones on the NCAA Division-1 collegiate wrestling circuit, Sonnen and Muñoz will not be competing against each other for the first time at UFC on Fox 2.
Having met on the mat before, the often vitriolic Sonnen says that it’s nothing personal between himself and Muñoz, but he’ll do what he needs to in order to remain victorious and on the path to Silva’s belt.
“This is competition between Mark Munoz and me,” Sonnen said. “We competed before, we will compete again. And when it is done, it will be one more in the win column, one more trophy above the mantle, and one more for the bad guy.”
Muñoz echoes his sentiment, saying that whatever friendship he and Sonnen have maintained since their college days will be left at the cage door.
“Chael and I are friends and will remain friends long after this fight,” said Muñoz. “But make no mistake, when that cage door closes we will not hold back. We will show the world why we are the best at what we do.”
UFC on Fox 2 goes down on January 28 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.