Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Although Machida thrives on countering, Munoz can throw first and land without having to eat a punch on the way in.
In fact, unless he intends on engaging Machida in a staring contest, Munoz is probably going to have to be the one who throws first in most exchanges. Even when moving forward, Machida usually waits for his foes to create the action.
That doesn't mean Munoz will still have to fall victim to Machida's counter straights.
If he can time his attacks in concert with Machida's lead leg coming forward, Munoz can ensure the Brazilian will be in range for his power punches. At UFC 163, Davis showed that Machida is susceptible to jab-overhand right combinations when he's the one moving forward.
As Machida pushed off with his left leg (top left), Davis moved forward with his jab (top right), closing the gap between him and the Brazilian more than he would have by being the aggressor. Unprepared to counter with his weight on his lead leg, Machida tried to retreat as he would if Davis were the one moving forward to begin with. However, because he helped to close the distance, Machida was still within range of Davis' overhand right and took it on the chin (bottom).
With the important assumption that the former light heavyweight champion was in his southpaw stance, this combination would have worked just as well had Davis thrown a tad later and Machida countered. Since "The Dragon" almost always counters the jab with a step-back straight, Davis' overhand would have caused his head to slip to the inside of Machida's straight left, and his right hand would have landed from a blind angle over the Brazilian's shoulder.
Dan Henderson couldn't land his lethal overhand right on Machida because he didn't force the Brazilian to close the distance for him. Every time Henderson wound up, Machida stepped back and was well out of range for the "H-Bomb" to land.
If Munoz wants to have any success while standing with Machida, he needs to be patient and wait for his opponent to move forward. That would be uncharacteristic of Munoz, who is aggressive in all areas.
Even if Munoz does play it smart and forces Machida into being the aggressor, he'd probably be better served using the opportunities to get in close for takedown attempts rather than striking.