Even though Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida could easily dominate Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz on the ground, we can’t forget about Machida’s advanced striking ability. Think back to the way Machida finished Rashad Evans, Randy Couture and Ryan Bader. He definitely has the striking prowess to land something explosive on Munoz.
On the other hand, they don’t call Munoz the Filipino Wrecking Machine for nothing. Six of his 13 professional wins have come by KO. He smashed his way through Chris Leben and C.B. Dollaway over the last two years.
Both Machida and Munoz have been victims of KO punches in their career, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented to see either man finished from strikes.
The safest bet is to pick Machida to win by decision, but the prospects of a KO are clear to see. There are two other fights that also carry potential to garner KO of the Night honors. They are as follows:
Ross Pearson vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard
Anytime Guillard is in action, there is a chance the night will end explosively. Almost 46 percent (45.6) of his fights have ended in KO/TKO. Guillard himself has stopped 20 opponents and has only been knocked out once. That came in his Aug. 2012 meeting with Donald Cerrone at UFC 150.
Just before Cerrone stopped Guillard, the Young Assassin had rocked him severely. Unfortunately for Guillard, he couldn’t finish the deal. In his career, he has won KO of the Night three times. Most recently, he earned the bonus for his stoppage of Mac Danzig in July.
When he loses, Guillard usually falls victim to submissions. He’s lost nine of his 12 fights that way. Pearson would be wise to take him down as soon as he can. The longer he stands the more likely he gets caught with something big.
Pearson has the well-rounded game to employ this strategy. He has five wins by submission in his career. However, if he gets clipped in the process, Guillard could score a highlight-reel win.
Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs. “The Big Deal” Ryan Jimmo
This fight could come down to who lands the first hard significant strike. Jimmo displayed his monstrous power in his debut against Anthony Perosh in 2012. He took just seven seconds to eradicate Perosh and subsequently did the robot in his celebration dance.
The man that looks like Mr. Clean’s doppelganger can punch. If he connects with Manuwa, he might be going disco again.
Manuwa’s striking prowess is noteworthy as well. He’s 13-0 with all but one of his wins coming by KO/TKO. He has stopped both Kyle Kingsbury and Cyrille Diabate in his two UFC bouts. The Poster Boy has the artillery to make a GIF out of any opponent.
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