UFC Fight Night 41 Fight Breakdown: Gegard Mousasi (-300) vs. Mark Munoz (+250)

Mark Munoz The main event of UFC Fight Night 41 is a five-round middleweight bout between Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi and Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Mousasi as a-300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) while Munoz is a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Mousasi at -210 and Munoz at +160, and so far the betting public has been all over Mousasi. I agree with the live movement in Mousasi’s favor as I’m picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Mousasi (34-4-2) is one of the top middleweights in the UFC. The 28-year-old is the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and the former DREAM light heavyweight champion and in his career he holds notable victories over Hector Lombard, Mark Hunt, Babalu Sobral, Ronaldo Souza, and Ovince St-Preux, amongst others. 1-1 overall in the Octagon, Mousasi opened his UFC career with a win over Ilir Latifi but followed it up with a decision loss to No. 1 contender Lyoto Machida earlier this year. He was somewhat competitive with Machida, but definitely didn’t deserve to get the win and thus he goes back to the beginning of the title shot queue now and he now must defeat Munoz if he wants to get back into the upper echelon of the division. A very tricky fighter to deal with, Mousasi has excellent striking and is a finisher in every sense of the word as 29 of his 34 career wins have come via stoppage. Although he looked tentative against Machida, a lot of fighters have problems dealing with “The Dragon” and going up against Munoz this weekend in Berlin, I expect a more aggressive version of Mousasi to show up, and that could spell trouble for Munoz. Munoz (13-4), like his opponent, is one of the top-1o ranked middleweights in the world. The 36-year-old is 8-4 overall in the UFC with wins over Tim Boetsch, Chris Leben, Demian Maia, CB Dollaway, Aaron Simpson, Kendall Grove, Ryan Jensen and Nick Catone, and with the losses coming to Machida, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Yushin Okami, and Matt Hamill. A talented wrestler, Munoz loves taking his opponents to the floor and using his devastating ground attack to get the win. He doesn’t have much in the way of BJJ, instead using strikes to finish his opponents. And on the feet he definitely has some power too as we saw in the fight against Dollaway, who he KOed in brutal fashion in the first round a few years back. In the last couple of years, though, Munoz seems to have regressed, and he’s 1-2 overall since the start of 2012. To be fair, the losses came to Machida and Weidman — the two best fighters in the division — but he showed a poor chin in both fights and at 36 his career as a top-flight middleweight could soon be coming to an end. I’m not quite ready to write Munoz off just yet, but he has a tough matchup this Saturday against Mousasi. It’s a fight where Munoz will have to implement his wrestling if he wants to win, because if he stands he could be at risk of being knocked out yet again, and that wouldn’t be good at all for him. I believe that Mousasi will be able to defend Munoz’ takedowns, keep the fight on the feet, and outstrike his opponent en route to either a decision victory or a late stoppage in the fourth or fifth rounds. I do like Mousasi here and believe he could be worthy of a parlay at -300, but the bet I like even more is this fight going OVER 2.5 rounds, which is currently -155. I know that Munoz doesn’t have the greatest chin in the world, but Mousasi isn’t really the guy to take advantage of that — at least early in the fight — and I believe the fight will go past the 2.5 rounds mark and that’s why I like that total for a play.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

UFC Fight Night 41 Fight Breakdown: Iuri Alcantara (-370) vs. Vaughan Lee (+310)

MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Brown vs. Lawler Headlines UFC On FOX 12