The good news for Mark Munoz (Pictured) when he steps into the Octagon at UFC 138 is that he knows exactly what to expect from Chris Leben. The bad news for the middleweight is that his opponent also has a thorough understanding of what’s in store Saturday inside the LG Arena in Birmingham, England.
Leben brings a vicious standup assault, while Munoz will be looking to impose his devastating ground attack. However, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” has been honing his hands with legendary Muay Thai coach Rafael Cordeiro and he fully intends to showcase them tomorrow.
“He’s a tough, tough dude,” Munoz told 5thRound.com. “He’s going to come straight forward and you know that there is going to be bombs flying at you. For me, it’s no secret, I’m going to use my wrestling. I always say that, [but] I throw bombs, too. So bombs away.
“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.”
While Munoz is confident in his refined standup skills, his momma didn’t raise no fool. The 33-year-old knows movement will be the key to surviving Leben’s haymakers. Otherwise, it could be a very long night for Munoz – or a short night depending upon how you look at it.
“I definitely don’t want to stand in front of him,” Munoz flatly stated. “He gets stronger as you punch him in the face. You definitely want to mix it up. You don’t want to stand in front too long, you want to be able to get the angles. That’s basically it.”
Munoz has rattled off wins in six of his last seven outings, including three straight. Another impressive victory should put him right in the title hunt.
(Picture provided by Steven Houchin of Shotgun Images)