Tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night 30 from Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England will feature former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida’s first fight at his new home of middleweight. “The Dragon” will face off with his friend Mark Munoz after Munoz’ original opponent Michael Bisping was forced to withdraw. It’s an interesting contrast of styles, so check out our UFN 30 main event predictions and give us your own in the comments!
Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz
Mike Drahota: Machida was largely able to stifle NCAA champion Phil Davis’ wrestling in his loss at UFC 163. Trouble is, the two takedowns he gave up most likely decided the fight. Machida’s style is beginning to lull fans to sleep, as he’s content to wait for his foes to bring the fight to him and look for a counter shot. Davis noticed this, and utilized single strikes to never let “The Dragon” find his rhythm.
Munoz is a smart fighter with off-the-charts wrestling ability as well. He’ll follow a similar plan as Davis, and I just don’t see Machida catching Munoz sleeping with a counter punch. Machida may be able to avoid most of Munoz’ takedowns, but not all of them. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is back in tip-top shape. I’ll go with Munoz via unanimous decision.
Rory Kernaghan: Mark Munoz is a wrestling machine, as we know, and Machida likes to strike on the counter. The question is who will implement their gameplan more efficiently? I know a lot of you are riding the train back to the “Machida Era,” but I'm not sure it will be that simple. In fact, I think Munoz will beat “The Dragon.” I expect The Filipino Wrecking Machine to go to work on his former sparring partner, locking him up on the fence and slamming him down. A hard fought but well-earned decision win is what I predict for a triumphant Mark Munoz.
Brian Cox: Mark Munoz and Lyoto Machida is a tough fight to call. It has the potential to be an exciting fight, but it also has the potential to be a boring matchup, as well. Munoz will obviously be looking to take Machida to the ground while “The Dragon” will want to stand and trade. If Munoz can’t get Machida down, he could easily lose a decision or even get knocked out. For his part, if Machida can’t stop Munoz’ takedowns, he’ll probably lose by way of a ref stoppage. I like both fighters and have a great deal of respect for them. However, there can only be one winner, so I’ll pick the “Filipino Wrecking Machine.” Mark Munoz with a TKO ground and pound stoppage in round 3.