Mark Munoz thinks he is ready for a title shot.
On Wednesday, July 11 at UFC on Fuel TV 4, Chris Weidman will prove to him that he is not.
Undefeated in eight professional MMA bouts (four in the UFC), Weidman is a tough matchup for anybody at middleweight (yes, I realize the greatest fighter of all time is a middleweight).
Weidman combines world-class wrestling with a savvy jiu-jitsu game that makes him one of the division's most formidable threats when the fight hits the mat. Factor in his ever-improving standup game, and Weidman truly is dangerous wherever the fight goes.
While Weidman's grappling and standup are excellent on their own, the way he combines each of them and transitions between the two games is phenomenal.
Because of his ability to strike and shoot, changing gears fluidly from one to the other, Weidman is able to keep his foes off balance, and this makes each area that much more effective.
Adding to this, Weidman has incredible cardio and a relentless work ethic he honed during his years as an All-American wrestler at Hofstra University.
Against Demian Maia, Weidman showed his guts and determination in a back-and-forth bout that left each man exhausted and winded.
Wait, you are thinking, didn't I just say Weidman has incredible cardio?
Yes, I did, and I meant it. Sure, he gassed a bit against Maia, but what people seem to forget is that he took that fight on extremely short notice and was forced to cut 32 pounds of weight in just 10 days.
Some people spend years trying to lose 32 pounds, and Weidman did it in 10 days and then fought a 15-minute war against an elite cage fighter. That's impressive, to say the least, and any fighter would be exhausted after subjecting his/her body to such stress.
When Weidman has a full training camp and ample time to prepare for a fight, he is a monster. In his two UFC appearances that he was adequately prepared for, he easily submitted both of his opponents quickly in the first round.
Munoz is about to feel this power, and he will not like it. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" excels when he is the aggressor and when he has his opponent on his back and can rain down elbows and heavy leather.
I'll be the first to admit that Munoz's ground-and-pound is some of the scariest in the game, but he has to get his opponent down first, and I do not think he will be able to bully Weidman like he has lesser wrestlers like Kendall Grove and Chris Leben.
Also, Munoz's chin is suspect, whereas Weidman has yet to be hurt inside the Octagon. How can we forget Matt Hamill's spectacular head-kick knockout over Munoz? Getting knocked out, especially by a head-kick, by Matt Hamill is like getting submitted by Kimbo Slice: It should never happen.
I realize Munoz has learned and dropped to middleweight, his more natural weight, since that fight, but he faced similar problems against Yushin Okami at 185. Unable to get Okami to the mat, Munoz had to stand and strike, and Okami's boxing was too good for Munoz to overcome (and Okami's boxing is average at best).
The bottom line is this: If Mark Munoz cannot get you to the ground and maintain top position, you have a very good chance of winning the fight.
Chris Weidman will not be taken down, and he will either pick Munoz apart on the feet or score a takedown of his own and give Munoz a taste of his own medicine.
I truly believe Weidman is the future of the middleweight division, and he is going to prove that against Mark Munoz Wednesday night at UFC on Fuel TV 4.
Mark, I know you think you are ready for UFC gold, but you are about to get served a dose of reality at the hands of Mr. Chris Weidman.