Gegard Mousasi finally lived up to the billing as being one of the most dangerous middleweights in the UFC at Fight Night 41 in Berlin. “The Dreamcatcher” dominated Mark Munoz in their main event clash submitting the previously No.7 ranked contender in the first round. It was the first time in his 18-fight career that Munoz had lost by submission.
From the outset, Munoz looked to utilize his strong wrestling background against Mousasi, but other than one impressive slam to the canvas, he found it tough to take his opponent down. Mousasi was the crisper striker and showcased solid grappling skills. He was able to utilize smooth transitions on the ground to put Munoz into dangerous situations.
The former Strikeforce and Dream champion was able to dominate with brutal ground-and-pound including solid elbows to his opponent’s head. Mousasi was finally able to flatten out the “Filipino Wrecking Machine” and get him to tap to a rear-naked choke at the 3:57 mark. The effort earned Mousasi a Performance of the Night bonus and was his second Octagon victory. It was a strong bounce-back effort after a unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida at Fight Night 36 in Brazil.
Mousasi now has 30 finishes to his credit in 35 career victories. He’s likely to move into the top-10 rankings after his impressive performance in Germany. After absorbing very little damage, Mousasi has made it known he’d like to return in September at Fight Night 51 in Japan. Potential matchups against Tim Kennedy, Luke Rockhold or Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza would be attractive options to consider.
As for Munoz, it appears as though he’s now relegated to gatekeeper status. The 36-year old is now 8-5 in his UFC career and failed once again to pass the test against elite competition. He was hoping to rebound after his knockout loss to “The Dragon” at Fight Night 30 but was saddled with another first-round stoppage defeat in a high-profile main event clash. Munoz has now dropped three of his last four fights and his days as a top-10 contender appear to be over.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for RantSports.com.