UFC 138 Results: Mark Munoz's Win Won't Put Him in Middleweight Title Contention

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2011

UFC 138 wound up being one of the better mixed martial arts events of the year, though the main event did not leave everyone in the arena and watching on television with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Mark Munoz was able to get a victory over Chris Leben thanks to a stoppage in between the second and third rounds, but it does not warrant Munoz being talked about as a middleweight title contender. 

It is easy to understand why Munoz would be talked about as a contender for Anderson Silva: He has won seven of his last eight fights, including four straight, and is finally starting to beat higher-caliber middleweight fighters.

However, his resume does not scream No. 1 contender or even No. 2 or 3 for that matter. He can get into the mix with a couple more victories over upper-echelon fighters, but not before then. 

Still, that did not stop UFC announcer Joe Rogan from posing the question to Munoz after he was declared the winner thanks to a nasty gash over Leben's left eye that left him unable to see. 

"Anderson Silva is by far the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," Munoz said. "I give him all the respect and honor, but I think I deserve a title shot. I consider him a friend, but right now I would love to get a title shot."

No disrespect to Munoz, who is a good fighter in his own right, but the reason that he is not going to get that shot and Chael Sonnen in all likelihood will is because he knows how to promote a fight. 

UFC is as much about shameless self-promotion and building yourself up as it is about performing in the octagon. 

Sonnen has the ability to do that. Munoz, clearly, does not. You have to make Dana White and Joe Silva take notice of you if you want a shot. 

A victory over Leben is a good start for Munoz, and he could have helped himself a lot more with some gloating and promotion, but instead he just took the win and hopes that someone will pay attention to him. 

Munoz's résumé is far from complete, so he should get into title contention at some point, but he still has a lot left to prove before he gets talked about with the best middleweights that UFC has to offer. 

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