One is a former Strikeforce and DREAM champion, and the other won gold while competing on the NCAA wrestling mat. When Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz meet up in Germany at UFC Fight Night 41 later this month, it will be a clash of two unique styles.
Mousasi and his trademark ability to lull opponents to sleep before putting them to bed will be tested from the opening bell because Munoz likes to do the complete opposite.
Known as "The Filipino Wrecking Machine," Munoz has transitioned his MMA game from that of a wrestler into a knockout artist. Of his 13 career wins, six have come via knockout, including stoppage wins over the likes of Chris Leben, CB Dollaway and Kendall Grove.
Can he take Mousasi, a black belt in judo, down to the canvas and impose his will? Or will "The Dreamcatcher" strike first and add to his 29 career knockout and submission wins?
As they like to say, that is why you play the game. Or in this case, fight the fight.
Fans will be treated to an interesting contest over the scheduled five rounds in Germany, and bringing in to play the expected rowdy international crowd, they will be thirsting for blood early and often.
Mousasi (34-4-2) was dealt a tough decision defeat to Lyoto Machida earlier this year, seeing his seven-fight unbeaten streak come to an end. Prior to the loss, he had finished four of those seven foes, including three by submission.
If you take a quick look at Mousasi's resume of opponents, you will find the likes of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Renato Sobral, Mark Hunt, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Melvin Manhoef and Hector Lombard listed. That alone shows you this is a man who will fight anyone, anywhere at anytime. Hunt has worked his way into a contender role in the UFC's heavyweight division, while Souza has done the same in the middleweight division and is a former Strikeforce champion.
Sobral, Sokoudjou and Manhoef have incredible followings because of their fighting careers, while Lombard is a welterweight contender and former Bellator champion.
When it comes to the short list of fighters who have spanned the globe and met up with all types of opponents, Mousasi is on it.
Ironically enough, Munoz is also coming off a loss to Machida, as he agreed to face the former UFC champion when he replaced Michael Bisping last October. Of his last seven fights, two have been losses by knockout, as current UFC champion Chris Weidman stopped him in 2012.
Along with the losses, Munoz has been dealing with a series of injuries that kept him sidelined for almost a year. But last July, he flashed that old ground-and-pound attack when he defeated Tim Boetsch. The former Oklahoma State University wrestler will need to be in tip-top shape when he squares off with Mousasi.
Since signing with the UFC in 2009, Munoz has gone to the scorecards five times, posting a 4-1 mark in those fights. But he has never been involved in a five-round battle, something Mousasi has done twice in his career.
The odds of this one making it 25 minutes appear low at this point, but stranger things have happened. Regardless, we will be seeing two highly trained middleweights who want to get back into the win column in Berlin.
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