A pair of top-15 middleweights looking to get back on track will meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night 41 in Berlin on May 31.
Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz both have something in common as they were defeated by title contender Lyoto Machida in their last fights. “The Dreamcatcher” dropped a unanimous decision to “The Dragon” at Fight Night 36 in Brazil while Munoz was knocked cold in one round by Machida at Fight Night 30 in England. The five-round contest will headline the organization’s first card in Germany since 2010.
Mousasi was hoping to make an immediate impact after making the move down to the middleweight ranks but suffered a setback with the Machida loss. While the defeat snapped a seven fight unbeaten streak, he did give a good account of himself and earned a $50,000 bonus for Fight of the Night. Mousasi is currently ranked no. 12 but with his impressive resume should be able to quickly climb the ranks with a couple of victories.
The former Strikeforce and Dream champion has only had two Octagon appearances with his lone victory having come as a light heavyweight against Ilir Latifi. Mousasi has a high finishing rate with 18 knockouts and 11 submission wins in 34 career victories and possesses a very sturdy chin. He’s never been knocked out in 40 professional fights.
Munoz has an impressive 8-4 UFC record but is just 1-2 in his last three fights. Both of those defeats have been in brutal fashion. The head kick KO at the hands of Machida and a bloody second round stoppage after absorbing a beatdown at the hands of current middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The “Filipino Wrecking Machine” has had a tough time breaking through against elite competition and at the age of 36 this could be his final big-time opportunity. Munoz has power but against a dangerous striker like Mousasi might want to put his solid wrestling skills to work.
This shapes up a key matchup in the 185-pound landscape. Mousasi had his moments in lasting the five-round distance against the dangerous Machida and a victory over Munoz would certainly earn him another high-profile matchup. As for Munoz, it’s a win that he desperately needs if he wants to stay relevant in the 185-pound landscape.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports